Zeb Larson reviews Descender #4…
Image’s red-hot new series continues as Tim-21 struggles to trust his new companions, the Scrappers move in, and factions from across the galaxy tighten their grip.
In this issue of Descender, Dr. Quon and Telsa try to understand the significance of Tim’s “dream,” even as they’re being pursued by a more dangerous band of scrappers. For all the action in the book this month, this feels like an issue that serves as a transition to the next thing, which means meeting some of the other alien planets in the UGC. They’re not particularly friendly either. I will be discussing spoilers in this review, so consider yourself forewarned.
Tim, Telsa and Quon discuss Tim’s dream before planning their next move. Telsa informs Tim that he could be extremely important to the UGC in understanding the Harvesters and preventing another attack. Tim agrees to help, asking only that Telsa helps him to look for Andy. Telsa lies and agrees to this, explaining to Quon later Andy died in the attack and that the promise is irrelevant to a machine. Telsa briefs her father, the head of the UGC on the attack by the scrappers and notes that there has to be a leak in the highest levels of government. Almost on cue, more scrappers in a Squid ship show up, and they immobilize the ship. In a Mexican standoff, the drillbot is pinned along with Tim, and after Quon offers to go with the bots, Telsa is forced to hand them off to the men. They’re from Gnish, and they want to take the bots to the battle pits.
The shuttles may have malfunctioned, but there isn’t perfect proof that Andy did die in the attack. It may be a red herring, but I’ll be curious whether this comes up in subsequent issues. At the very least, it’s another point of tension between Telsa and Quon. And if Tim finds out that she was lying, how will that affect their relationship? If Tim is that closely connected to the Harvesters, angering him has the potential to be a very dangerous thing.
Yet much of the discussion about Tim and Andy or about Tim and the Harvesters has been put on the backburner by the appearance of the men from Gnish. I wrote in my last review that the series needed to start visiting the other worlds we’ve been told about, and now we’re going to get to see that. It’s unfortunate for Tim, drillbot and Bandit that it’s apparently one of the most frightening worlds for their kind, but it will give us a perspective on how these anti-robot attitudes have really played out.
There’s not much else to say about this issue, as I imagine the really important stuff will come out in #5. Are they going to have to fight for their lives? And what is Telsa going to do to get them back, especially now that her concerns about a mole in the UGC have been vindicated? Things will get ugly.