Descender continues it’s exploration of political systems and issues of servitude and enslavement set among the stars. Nine planets, including one of post-Earth humans, have formed a loose alliance in the galaxy. The different races have varying abilities and strengths. However, planet-sized robots called Harvesters, decimated the system a decade ago leading the entire system into backlash and genocide against their artificially intelligent robots, ie robbies.
The series centers on Tim-21, a forever-10 years old companion bot who’s naive and likable. His sentimentality and programming draws him to humans even if they’re out to destroy him. And everyone is looking for him. Deep in his codex lies the key to the Harvesters . . .
Like many great series, a band of misfits representing different cultures and POVs band together around Tim-21 as others merely wish to wield him as a political tool.
Dustin Nguyen’s dreamlike watercolor artwork must be commended. Important images emerge from eerie, alien backgrounds while others are allowed to slip into the colorwash. However, fantastical races still show the details needed to convey otherness even when not in the forefront. The dreamlike quality exists throughout as if the atmosphere itself was bending the light. And yet, when a true dream sequence comes into play, the images depict that, too, even more loosely by erasing the panel lines themselves. These aren’t new techniques, but they’re masterfully handled.