The end of the first arc is here for Descender. It’s been an interesting ride so far, laying the groundwork for the series and seeing characters start to develop. The conclusion is here: is it good?
Descender #6 (Image Comics)
Descender wraps up its first arc by answering some questions and pushing the story towards a big change. Three quarters of this issue revolve around Dr. Quon’s backstory and how he became the lead in modern robotics, showing the events that set him in the direction he’s going in and also introduces a new mystery to them. It’s rather interesting to read and admittedly, refreshing in its own way. You would think Quon did something very nefarious to get where he was, like killing off a person to get his research or something like that. However, the comic went its own route and showed him doing something different and more clever than what you would expect. Sure, it raises some questions, like why didn’t Professor Solomon call him out on it, but I feel these are things that will be answered at some point.
The remaining quarter of the book takes the comic back to the present day, where it wraps things up with the current problem the cast is facing, changing up the status quo, and introducing new characters. Overall the story is excellent in how much it tells and how much we learn without having to over-explain anything or dump a lot of exposition onto the audience. Compare this issue to the other two big books of the week, Secret Wars and Batman, and this issue runs circles around them, knowing how much to tell and show without letting the ‘tell’ aspect overtake the comic.
The writing is superb here. The story has the right pace throughout, allowing for each scene to move at the right speed without becoming too fast or too slow. The dialogue and exposition are handled pretty well, without either sounding too forced or unnatural given the circumstances. The characterization and developments with Quon are very good and makes the reader look at him in a whole new way. Everyone else sadly falls by the wayside (Tim is barely in the issue) and is just sort of there for the time being. The ending itself is good and should definitely lead to somewhere interesting, though it doesn’t have the same punch or power as the previous issues’ endings. Not a bad thing, but something to note regardless.
While not nearly as captivating and striking as previous issues, the artwork by Dustin Nguyen is lovely as always. He does a great job drawing and bringing characters to life, and each still look unique from one another. The locations are nice looking and the colors really bring out the right mood and tone for each scene. Frankly, most everything is right about this comic when it comes to the artwork, even the lettering (it’s just refreshing to see lettering that actually stands out). The only thing that I could say negatively is that I would have preferred to see some slight difference in the artwork when it came to the flashback. There’s a slight light haze to the coloring, but it’s not particularly noticeable in comparison to previous issues where the flashbacks did stand out. Of course, that’s the smallest of nitpicks in the grand scheme of things.
Oh my god… the ancient ruins of a Starbucks!
Is It Good?
Descender #6 is an excellent finale for the first part of the series. We spent most of the time in the past, where we learned and discovered new and interesting aspects to this series. While we didn’t spend as much in the present, we still walked away learning a lot in the end. The story, writing, characters, and artwork are all blending together just perfectly in this comic. Easily the best new series Image Comics has put out this year and you should not miss out on this series.