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Underrated: Descender Volume One: Tin Stars

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Descender Volume One: Tin Stars

I picked up the first volume of Descender the other day because of a recommendation from the owner, and seeing as how she’s never really steered me wrong before and that it was written by Jeff Lemire I figured I’d give it a try. So what’s the series about?

The synopsis reads;

“Young Robot boy TIM-21 and his companions struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. Written by award-winning creator, Jeff Lemire, Descender is a rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey. Lemire pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling epic. Created by Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Trillium) and Dustin Nguyen’s (Little Gotham) critically acclaimed, bestselling new science fiction series!”


I won’t lie to you, friends, if it hadn’t been my my LCS’ recommendation I would never have read the first volume in this series – and that would have been quite a shame. Y’see even though I frequently say  that science fiction stories aren’t usually my cup of tea, the  more I seem to read the more I seem to enjoy, so either I’m lying or I never really read any good science fiction before form that opinion – either way that’s not the point right now.

Upon opening the first six issue volume of Descender – which you can find for $10 at your LCS – you’ll find an art style that won’t appeal to everyone right away (if you’ve read Little Gotham you’ll know what I mean), but allow yourself a couple of pages and you’ll begin to notice that the art style works incredibly well with the story. Indeed the art and the story mirror each other in that just as you notice that there’s a lot more to Dustin Nguyen‘s art than you’ll initially pick up on in those first few pages, you’ll also begin to realize that Lemire’s plot goes a lot deeper than you’d first expect.

Like all good fantasy and science fiction stories, Descender  (or at least the first volume) will have you thinking about the world around you, and how you react to it, without explicitly telling you what Lemire was thinking about when he was writing the series, lending the work a timeless quality.

Honestly, I’m shocked that I don’t hear more people talking about this series; I’d say it’s one of the best things that Jeff Lemire has written but when the man is as prolific as he is with top notch comics, you’ll forgive me for not giving in to full blown hyperbole. What the first volume  of Descender is, however, is simply fantastic.


That’s all for this week folks. Join us next week when we talk about something else that falls under the Underrated banner in the comic book world.