By Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen and Steve Wands
“Yes, Tim-21, as I said, you do realize that this ‘dream’ could not be real?”
“I realize that Dr. Quon. Yet I was there. In that place. Whatever it was.”
Descender #4 by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dustin Nguyen delivers another great issue with one hell of a ride, I mean, the kid just woke up! At least give him breakfast… wait… do robots eat breakfast? Download breakfast?
Issue #4 sees Tim-21 once again alongside his creator Dr. Quon, both of which are in the “care” of the UGC (the good guys), but unfortunately Tim-21 is the coolest toy these days (think Jingle All The Way in space) and the galaxy’s Scrappers just can’t leave him alone. Something this issue also brings up is Tim’s longing to return to his friend Andy, who is the boy he was assigned to ten years ago. Is Andy still out there somewhere?
Something Lemire does well is show how Tim-21 is assimilating himself with other humans, his speech still a bit too formal at times compared to the others, and yet a lot more educated than the other robot on the ship – Driller, “Hrrrm – Driller just a dumb mine-droid. Driller too stupid to fix you little boy-bot.” Well, at least he’s honest?
The artwork of each issue is always a sight to behold as it tends to give something different from other stories out there. Illustrator Dustin Nguyen along with letterer/designer Steve Wands create page after page of cosmic scenes done in watercolor. Some of the backgrounds of panels might be left bare, while other panels, such as one showing Tim’s friend Driller clanging through the air, modestly showcases the inside of the ship. Whenever scenes make their way into space however…. the details and colors get pretty intense. A panel showcasing a ship out in space uses the watercolor style to really make the ship pop from the page. Nguyen creates a detailed grey ship floating through the pink, white, blue, purple, and red space, all the colors meshing into one another to create the kind of image you’d want hanging over your couch in your living room (instead of that picture of the flowers that’s been there since 1998).
Lemire and Nguyen once again put their protagonist in peril (because showing him eating breakfast wouldn’t be any fun… downloading breakfast?) as Descender #4 keeps the momentum rolling… in space!