Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Descender #1 introduced us to two characters: The flawed but brilliant Dr. Jin Quon and TIM-21, a young android invented by Dr. Quon. It brought readers into a world where robots are hunted by scrappers following a massive attack on nine planets, devastating populations. Now TIM-21 must face a universe that mostly wants him dead. His first challenge is evading the scrappers that discovered him as the first issue concluded.
Jeff Lemire has once again crafted a beautiful world full of relatable characters. TIM-21 is easy to love, and most readers will already find themselves cheering for him. The fact that a robot can bring out so much emotion really shows how strong of creator Lemire is. Most of Descender #2 is about TIM-21’s past. The reader will learn about his family and how he ended up on the deserted mine colony. The journey through the issue is emotional as TIM-21’s memories reveal everything he has gone through. We learn more of how TIM-21 deals with the world around him, and how he understands the concept of friendship and family. Unfortunately, despite how happy some of the memories are, they are juxtaposed with a brutal present, full of fear and loneliness.
Of course, in the present, TIM-21 has to deal with the merciless band of scrappers who want his parts for profit. The chase is harrowing, but we learn that TIM-21 isn’t completely defenseless. Lemire paces the issue well with a good blend of emotion and fast-paced action. The issue’s cliffhanger was completely unexpected, but powerful and effective.
On art, Dustin Nguyen continues to build off of his work in the previous issue. His colors have improved and we get to see some interesting designs for both aliens and robots. The art really works with the tone of a series focusing on a young boy. Flashbacks are typical panels without color, but still look great with clean inking and very expressive faces. With the watercolor comes a great amount of detail in the environments. Textures all vary with different techniques and shading. In just two issues Nguyen has proven that he is the best artist for this series.