What does it mean to be alone? How does it feel to be the only one of your kind, and to be reviled by every other living thing in the galaxy? These questions are central themes of Descender, a thought-provoking, emotional journey of one boy trying to survive in a galaxy that hates him. Along the way we are treated to a visually stunning story that evokes the very best themes of science fiction.
From the outset Descender has the feel of a highly polished science fiction epic. The first few pages read like a trailer for a story that will twist and turn between monumental size, and minute detail. Questions abound before the story really even gets going, and by the time the dust has settled, a thoughtful, delicate tale is woven right before your eyes.
The story takes place after a terrible tragedy befalls the Megacosm (the federation of worlds this story centers around), but focuses on a young boy who awakens ten years after the event. The boy finds himself the sole survivor on a mining colony, although ‘boy’ isn’t the best way to describe him. In actuality, he is a robot, the lone survivor of a gas leak that killed all the ‘living’ colonists while he slept. As he explores the desolate colony he stumbles across news vids that inform him of the tragedy that befell the UGC, the council of nine worlds that govern the Megacosm. What he learns is terrible, and has dire implications for his own survival.
The other main character is Dr. Jin Quon, a robotics expert who formerly held high esteem in the UGC. After the tragedy, Dr. Quon found his expertise no longer held the distinction it once had. Now, ten years after his world was turned upside down, his expertise is once again called into action. It turns out that the tragedy which caused so much horror and torment to the UGC can be traced back to a project of Dr. Quon’s from fifteen years earlier. The very same project which created the lonely boy robot.
It just so happens that the boy holds the key to understanding the tragedy. It becomes a race against time for Dr. Quon to locate him, and learn what he can before hatred, and fear lead to the boy’s destruction.
Descender’s premier issue is certainly worth picking up. While reminiscent of SciFi epics such as Mass Effect, and A.I., Descender still manages to lay the framework for a fresh, exciting, emotional journey well worth jumping on board. The artwork is fantastic. Beautiful, soft watercolor with sharp detail that makes every panel both jump off the page, and draw you in. If the rest of the series is as breathtaking, and intriguing as the first issue, Descender is destined to be something truly special!