A Review of Descender: Volume 1, by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

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One young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. A rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey that pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling space opera from the creators of Trillium, Sweet Tooth, and Little Gotham. Extra-sized first issue.

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Rating: 4/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: GORGEOUS watercolor art panels; interesting plot, easy to sink your teeth into; awesome, unique cast of characters; emotionally riveting; makes you want to pick up the rest of the series

Okay, guys: First and foremost, HUGE thanks go out to Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Image Comics and Netgalley for the ARC of this breathtaking comic/graphic novel! (this in no way changed how I reviewed or read this book or my opinions on it)

I have to start with the most obvious: The artwork for this comic is ABSOLUTELY stunning! It’s done largely in watercolor, looks extremely professional, and I just… I’m in so much awe. The panels are unique at times and very easy to follow; the use of space and motion throughout really helped to bring this more fully to life. The characters are beautifully done, the details exquisite. I just… I’m in awe. This read is SO gorgeous!

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The characters are also easy to relate to or, if not connect with, at least figure out. The robots in particular are some of my favorites; they’re all so unique, with their own personalities, motivations, and knee-jerk reactions. I LOVE the interactions between Tim-21 and Driller the Killer; there’s a sense of…connection? between them almost immediately. You can tell, just from Driller’s speech habits and reactions, that he’s spent a lot of time alone and is tired of it. And Tim-21? Well, he was made to connect to and assimilate with humans… which means he’s much like any other young boy.

The plot is action-packed with bits of emotional tension, drama, and mystery thrown in for flair and more enjoyable reading. The writing is well-done, and some of the panels emulate old Batman comics with the addition of action-hero sound bubbles. Every page is an adventure, laid out and structured so well your eyes will have no trouble figuring out where to go next. This is a talent not all artists possess: the ability to make reading an art piece easy. The ability to draw the eye exactly where it’s meant to be, WHEN it’s supposed to.

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Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen did a spectacular job bringing this book and these characters to life for me; I’m definitely going to be keeping my eye out for future additions/volumes to this, because I need to know what happens next! I’d highly recommend to lovers of graphic novels/comics, sci fi/space adventures, and robots, cyborgs, and “alien” invasions. This is one comic you don’t want to miss!

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