Descender 4 (June 2015)

Descender #4

I’m not sure if I’m more on board Descender after this issue, which doesn’t reveal where Lemire’s going, but does show he’s got some actual ideas. Many of them are, as usual, familiar sci-fi tropes. He just arranges them a little better this issue.

And the story itself feels very comic book. Lemire puts the emphasis on the supporting players, mostly the ship captain, as well as pulling back and letting the reader see the familiar cast members in a new environment. Descender feels a little more solid.

So why aren’t I more excited about it? Because it’s still not clear Lemire’s got anywhere to take this story worth going and this issue features the first less than great Ngyuen art of the series. Where’s the art go wrong? The outer space stuff. Where’s Lemire taking the story? Outer space stuff.

The rest of the issue’s gorgeous.

Descender frustrates.

CREDITS

Tin Stars, Part Four; writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, Dustin Nguyen; letterer, Steve Wands; publisher, Image Comics.

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Descender 3 (May 2015)

Descender #3

I want to be able to keep reading Descender, but I’m getting close to my limit. It’s just A.I. with some flourishes on it. It’s like someone tried to make a comic book sequel to A.I., only instead of taking its visual template, Nguyen is grabbing from Alien and Outland and other seventies to early eighties sci-fi.

This issue has robot Tim dying and going to robot purgatory, where all the souls of the robots from the alien invasion are living. Okay, maybe more A.I. mixed with one of the Ender’s Game sequels, suffice to say, Lemire doesn’t have anything original in this series. And maybe he’s not supposed to, maybe he’s just supposed to sell the option to Hollywood and the comic’s going to sell on Nguyen’s art.

After all, Lemire’s just unoriginal, it’s not bad.

But I don’t know if Nyugen’s art alone is worth the time.

CREDITS

Tin Stars, Part Three; writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, Dustin Nguyen; letterer, Steve Wands; publisher, Image Comics.

Descender 2 (April 2015)

Descender #2

Lemire sure does know his sci-fi–this issue of Descender continues the A.I. vibe while throwing in some Outland. He also knows how to go straight for the heartstrings, which he does with a bunch of flashbacks to Tim–21 (he’s the android protagonist) in happier days.

And Lemire does a good job with it. He can get away with almost anything with Nguyen’s art. Descender will always be worth looking at. Nguyen’s color washes give each page a distinct separate feel, even when the action continues between them. It’s a lovely comic.

This issue doesn’t do much to develop the world of the comic, just Tim–21. Lemire’s careful not to give the robot too many emotional observations (again, A.I.) and it’s unclear if he can get legs out of story with a purely sympathetic lead character.

But he’s off to an okay start. It’s gloriously manipulative stuff.

CREDITS

Tin Stars, Part Two; writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, Dustin Nguyen; letterer, Steve Wands; publisher, Image Comics.

Descender 1 (March 2015)

Descender #1

Descender isn’t the most original thing under the sun. It’s hard to read it and not be reminded of the Spielberg movie, A.I.. Writer Jeff Lemire borrows major android concepts, but apparently not a lot of emotional heft concepts, which is good. Because, even though it’s got a lot of problems, Descender is far more successful than A.I..

Dustin Nguyen’s art makes the comic. He does this watercolor-looking thing and it’s great. He still has detail in his panels; the painting style doesn’t overtake the lines. It’s fantastic looking.

And the story has some unexpected moments, but there’s a nice collaboration between Lemire and Nguyen going on. Like Nguyen’s got more detail than Lemire’s putting into the story. Even though the story’s somewhat predictable and the details are mostly bland sci-fi things, the comic engages. Nguyen’s art is the right mix of mainstream and not to sell it.

CREDITS

Tin Stars, Part One; writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, Dustin Nguyen; letterer, Steve Wands; publisher, Image Comics.

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