One of the best parts of being a comic nerd is finding a series that you absolutely love. Waiting impatiently for the next installment as the story keeps playing out in your mind. Finally getting your mitts on that coveted book and flipping the pages knowing the answers you need are there, as well as many new questions. There is nothing better than that book going above your expectations and pulling the proverbial mind-blow. That is exactly what the third volume of Descender did for me. Yet, not one question I had was answered but, a collection of answers to questions that I did not think to ask.
Descender Volume 3: Singularities saw its publication from Image Comics on December 14, ‘016, collecting issues #12-16. The first collected tpb since artist Dustin Nguyen won the well deserved 2016 Eisner Award for his work on the series. Reception, though continually high on the series, is divided on the direction of the third volume. Many critics upset with the angle of revealing history instead of focusing on progression. This is classic Jeff Lemire storytelling which requires patience in exchange for rewarding, well rounded, character stories.
As Tim-21 is confronted with a battle for his life, Captain Telsa and Dr. Quon struggle with navigating Hardwire, the robot resistance, and Andy has a difficult reunion with his ex-wife, the story takes a pause. Each issue of the 5 piece paperback focuses on the backstory of an individual supporting character. Starting with Tim-22’s early struggles with humanity. The rise of Telsa as a strong willed warrior. On to the loyalty of Tim-21’s trusty robot-dog Bandit, and his connection to his friend and owner. Then we get some perspective on Elffie, the Queen Between, and her long history with Andy. Concluding with the heart-wrenching history of construction robbie, Driller, and what made him such a killer. Each story with their own emotion, focusing on a different part of this massive universe, and the effects of a galaxy at war.
Expectant of a Lemire tale, everyone has a reason for the way they are. Tim-22’s unexpected move in issue #11 has an understandable motive, leaving us sympathizing with the companion bot. Mysterious Elffie carries more baggage than we could have expected. However, the surprise for me was Driller’s backstory. Driller has stood out for me as a lovable character since the beginning but, the power of Lemire has brought rich emotion into such a simple minded construction with the final issue of this book. It was an un-expectant heart breaking story, that a robot of few words shouldn’t have. It left you on an emotional hold to finish of this somber book.
How many times do I have to tell you how great this series is? I don’t care. It is a redefining space opera with layers upon layers to feast on. The award winning art is perfectly composed with the story, with original style and creations. 5/5, this series wont stop getting better as it continues on. This third book leaving me with the necessity to go back to the beginning and pick up all the things that I missed out on. I don’t understand why you are still here and not reading Descender by now.
Thanks booknerds, remember Driller is a real thriller.