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Updated: Jun 24, 2021

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Illustrator: Dustin Nguyen

Publisher: Image Comics

Descender, Vol. 1 (tpb), cover, Image, Lemire/Nguyen


A slow-burn space opera that pits machines against all other life in the galaxy, with one robot boy and his dog caught in the middle.

The story feels heavily inspired by classic space operas. For fans of newer stuff, think Mass Effect, The Expanse, Battlestar Galactica…it fits in so well with all the great media of the genre.


(Minor Spoilers)

A robot boy awakes to find that the mining planet colony he lived with has been wiped out. As he seeks to discover what happened and meets people who may be able to help, he gets swept up in the machinations of human, alien & robot armies, all with their own agendas.

As our little boy robot searches for answers and someone in the galaxy he knows, each group chases him down, to use him or destroy him for their own gain.

Will he find home and safety, or will he be captured? And what is this looming threat whispered about across the universe?


  • Gorgeous, award-winning art that somehow brings the organic fluidity of watercolor to the metallic, hard lines of science fiction

  • Lemire’s stories can often feel both emotional and cold, as if the characters are dissociating from events and people around them – something that works perfectly for the genre

  • The set-up done for the universe and the epic story leaves room not only for all the plot to unfold under this title, but also for the recently announced spin-off, Ascender

  • It definitely feels like the creative team has a plan for the overall story, rather than piecing together smaller story arcs and hoping to figure it out later


  • Sometimes, the story and universe can be so big, it can be hard to keep track of everything that has happened and is happening

  • It feels like there’s so much story and universe yet to be explored (this is consistent through the 5th trade, even)

  • This first volume has a lot of setting up to do, and you may feel lost while you’re getting to know characters, planets, and the politics of each

  • Because the creators are playing the long game, we don’t get much resolution in this first volume

Descender, Vol. 1 (tpb), page 17, Image, Lemire/Nguyen


It’s a gorgeous, haunting story that sets up a universe that is both interesting and immense. Fans of hard science fiction will especially love it.


If you like the writing:

  • A. D. After Death by Scott Snyder & Jeff Lemire

  • East of West by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Dragotta

  • Black Science, Vol. 1 by Rick Remender & Matteo Scalera

If you like the art:


Jeff Lemire – Writer

  • Prolific: Has released a truly stunning number of quality comics in a fairly short amount of time

  • Multitalented: Often both writes and does art for his comics using his signature watercolor style

  • Outlander: Lives in Canada

Dustin Nguyen – Illustrator

  • Multitalented: Also works as a concept artist for toys, games & animation

  • Most often works in watercolor

Steve Wands – Letters & Design

  • Most of his work has been for DC Comics titles

  • Multitalented: Also writes the indie comics series Stay Dead


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