For me it’s been a quiet couple of weeks comic-wise, so I used the time to finally catch up and finish Grant Morrison’s rather epic Batman run. A heck of a lot has been written about it already, so I’ll just say that I thought that the run was often great and frequently mad, as Morrison tends to be. There was a lot going on and I imagine that, for the casual reader, it would be a challenge but I have to say it is surely one of the best runs Batman has ever seen. It may have had its flaws, but a flawed Morrison is usually still better than the competition.
That was almost it for me, until this arrived in the post…
Image comics have had an amazing run of creator-owned titles over the last few years and joining them now is Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender. I know Lemire for his work at DC, not his creator-owned stuff, which I have enjoyed in the past. But it’s Nguyen’s art which was the main draw for me. In my mind, he’s best known for work on the Batman books and I’ve liked his stuff for a long time. Here he’s using a water coloured style that looks different from his previous stuff and it gives the book a rather unique look, especially as it is a sci-fi story.
Set in the distant future, the planetary system in which the story is set has been ravaged by planet-sized robots, rather reminiscent of Jack Kirby’s Celestials. In the aftermath, most robots have been destroyed, but now the remnants of the government have recruited the leading robotics designer as it has been discovered that one of the robots he designed was the basis of the attacking robots and now, ten years after the attack, one of these robots, a (astro) boy called Tim has awoken.
The alien worlds, cities, people and robots here all look lovely thanks to Nguyen. Lemire covers a lot of ground well, introducing the world and the primary characters. It felt like it lacked a little depth, but having just finished Morrison’s Batman, maybe most comics would feel simpler in comparison. To compare it to another recent Image comic sci-fi book, it didn’t grab me like the excellent Saga did straight off the bat, but it is good and has a lot of potential.