COMIC REVIEW: Descender #11 – Et tu, Tim-22? | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Descender #11 – Et tu, Tim-22?

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: Descender #11 - Et tu, Tim-22?

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artists: Dustin Nguyen, Steve Wands

$3.99

Image Comics 

 

Image Comics’ Descender #11 came out today, finishing out the critically acclaimed series’ second arc, and man, there is a lot going on.

COMIC REVIEW: Descender #11 - Et tu, Tim-22?

Descender #11 – Page 5

Nearly every member of the expansive cast makes an appearance and has their storyline furthered in some way. The only arc not followed up on is the current situation on Niyrata, where Telsa’s father. General Nagoki, was receiving troubling news from a group of precogs about the possible return of the harvesters. Considering what plays out in this book, leaving them out was a wise decision, as their absence actually helps a lot of the story beats present in this issue and ultimately will make for a better reveal when the series continues in June.

Much of this issue takes place on Machine Moon, and this is where the art sees a change in pace. The backgrounds are stark, some featuring some thin line work, but many featuring nothing at all but white blank space. Since most of this series has taken place in space or on ravaged planets featuring chaotic action or dramatic dialogue scenes, there’s an interesting disconnect between the rest of the Descender universe and the white-washed home world of the Robot Resistance prevalent here. This style choice by Nguyen is critical to the story. Psius has made a home for these bots and this is their utopia. All of the clean artwork and stark pages in the Machine Moon scenes goes a long way in reflecting Psius as a character and separating the way he rules from those in the rest of the series.

COMIC REVIEW: Descender #11 - Et tu, Tim-22?

Descender #11 – Page 13

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Not going unnoticed is the lettering of Steve Wands. Though this is not the first time that many races have been included in an issue, having so many characters prevalent really showcases the way Wands individualizes each character – whether it be through font choice or bubble design. His work really makes each character read like they play equally important roles.

There are three main focuses in this issue. The first takes place with the Robot Resistance, where Telsa and Quon await the return of Tim-21 in a quarantine cell as humans are not allowed to travel the base unsupervised. This does not sit well with Telsa, and she enlists Quon to help her to some digging into Psius’ intentions to try and confirm her suspicions of his dubious nature. She, of course, is correct. Telsa and Quon happen upon a Harvester just a short jaunt away from where they had been held captive. Psius greets them there with armed guards, like he does, and reminds them just how little he thinks of mankind. Quon plays his hand at self preservation by revealing that his mentor, Dr. Sampson, and the ancient robots are still alive and kicking, and that only he knows their whereabouts.

COMIC REVIEW: Descender #11 - Et tu, Tim-22?

Descender #11 – Page 15

In the middle of this scene, the story shifts to Sampson, the original home planet of the refugees of Old Earth, and one of the hardest hit by the Harvester invasion. There, we’re reunited with Andy and his gang as he attempts to reason with his ex-wife, former human and current leader of a band of androids calling themselves The Betweens. Queen Between agrees to level with Andy, but requires that they take their meeting underground before the solar worms of Sampson come out to play. Their scene is cut short by Gnishan ships breaking the Sampson atmosphere and Andy’s storyline is left on a cliffhanger until the beginning of book three.

The final story beat is the the most effectual in the story so far. Tim-22 has been leading 21 down to the planet’s core in what is assumed to be an attempt to connect with 21. 22 points out their differences in a way that makes you believe he’s just trivializing, and then before you know it, he’s led 21 to a big double-page splash featuring Psius’ massive army of killer robots. It is here that the story ends, but not before 22 turns on 21 like Romulus on Remus, leaving that insane ending to be resolved in June. If the teaser art for the return is any indication, we’ve only just begun to break the surface of who Tim-22 really is.

COMIC REVIEW: Descender #11 - Et tu, Tim-22?

Descender #11- Page 16

This is an incredibly solid issue, but with so much of the early books in the arc spreading out the mini-arc load, this issue is a bit dense. The story is phenomenal, so the concern is not that major. It does however feel like a heavier read than any of the previous issues, and generally a little inconsistent with the pace that Lemire has set in all the preceding books. All-in-all, though, a definite must read.

The “Best There Is:” The arc two finally goes out on a literal bang and makes for one hell of an impactful read for series fans. The art of Nguyen remains perpetually impeccable and engaging. What the panel backgrounds lack in detail this issue is made up by superior storytelling by two of the industry’s greatest.

The “Not Very Nice:” The pacing is thrown off by the inclusion of so many tied up loose ends left by previous issues. It’s not a deterrent to the reader by any means, but it is worth noting on such a consistent title.

FBI Score: 9.5 out of 10. Descender is a powerhouse of talent and creativity on behalf of the series creators. Everything they do in this series is purposeful and precise, making Lemire and Nguyen compositional surgeons in the comics world. The end of their second arc is not immune to that level of genius. June can’t come soon enough!

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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