‘Descender’ #1 is a cinematic sci-fi treat

descender3 Descender #1

Writer – Jeff Lemire

Artist – Dustin Nguyen

Letterer and Designer – Steve Wands

Publisher – Image Comics

Jeff Lemire has already proven his worth in the sci-fi comic book genre with last year’s excellent Trillium. Descender appears to be something quite different from the last mini series he produced and is now collaborating with Dustin Nguyen, whose beautiful artwork is already strongly evident in this first issue. With Lemire and Nguyen onboard this very intriguing book, it looks like this will be a great addition to the already stellar lineup of Image released series.

Before this first issue even dropped, there was a lot of hype around Descender. The series was barely even officially announced when Sony Pictures sealed a film deal. Well, it is safe to say, upon reading the first issue, there is a lot of potential for Descender to face the hype head on and warm critics and readers alike.

Our story begins on the planet Niyrata, one of the core nine planets that makes up The United Galactic Council. It is also known as the technological and cultural hub of the group of planets. Nguyen’s art already stands out within the first page. There is a scattering of uniquely coloured flying vehicles all around the large frame, sharing the space with green and red vegetation. The art style is a well hued watercoloured effect that doesn’t focus on distracting the eyes on any particular object. The colours are well spread out allowing the reader to wander amongst the frames, absorbing the surroundings. From very early on, there is this cinematic, grand scope appeal to Descender in which you could almost hear the synthesizers of Vangelis playing in the background or David Bowie’s “Warszawa”.

A cylon-looking robotic device awakes a character by the name of Dr. Quon. A white bearded man named General Nagoki requires Quonn’s immediate presence. A massive robot has suddenly appeared above the atmosphere of the planet. Soon, it is revealed that nine robots, each one respectively, floats above each of the nine core planets. It becomes understood that Quonn had a previous involvement with the inventions of modern robotics and is required to make an attempt at figuring out what exactly this mysterious robot’s origins and intentions might be.

descender2On the distant moon of Dirishu-6, ten years has passed. A young robotic boy named Tim-21 awakens to his entire colony having been wiped out by a supposed accident that caused the atmosphere to be poisoned by a dangerous gas. Tim-21 is awestruck by his findings, only to further his disbelief after finding out the impact that these giant robots, called Harvesters, have made on the nine core planets of the galaxy.

Lemire has crafted a very intriguing script in this first issue and has done an excellent job at establishing the world of Descender alongside the core mysteries that are highlighted by the connection between Quon and Tim-21. Nguyen’s art works wonderfully within this created world and does a great job at differentiating the warmer reds and browns of the planet Niyrata with the colder blues and greys of the moon Dirishu-6. Whatever Lemire and Nguyen have in store, Descender is definitely a worthy addition to your monthly titles.

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