Jeff Lemire & Dustin Nguyen, “Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars” (Image, 2015)
The emotional center of this story is Tim-21. He was built to be a companion robot. That is, he’s a robot in little boy form, built to be a friend for some little boy. He’s got a robot dog that’s his pet, & he’s a cute little kid.
Oh yeah, he also seems to be at the center of a massive attack on human worlds some years earlier.
And a variety of forces throughout the galaxy want him.
Jeff Lemire writes what is basically a long chase story with asides that provide the necessary backstory. He does a great job of keeping us on the hook, both with the mystery of the backstory and the tension of the chase itself.
The perhaps unsung star of this title is Dustin Nguyen. He opts for an organic approach, both in look and with the choice of watercolors. This helps humanize Tim-21 & opens up the emotional core. Let’s face it, this is a SF book about aliens and androids. It needs help to grab the reader emotionally. Nguyen’s art is the hook that spears your heart.
I loved this first volume. The story is still developing and I can’t wait to read volume 2.