Descender, Vol. 5: Rise of the Robots

Descender, Vol. 5: Rise of the Robots

The first major DESCENDER event is here. This is what it has all been building to. The Robot Resistance rises up and tightens its iron grip in the universe as the origins of the Harvesters are finally revealed and the galaxy is thrown into all-out war! A new chapter of the sci-fi epic begins here by superstar creators JEFF LEMIRE and DUSTIN NGUYEN. Collects DESCENDER #22-2...

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Title:Descender, Vol. 5: Rise of the Robots
Author:Jeff Lemire
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Descender, Vol. 5: Rise of the Robots Reviews

  • Michael Finocchiaro

    While my favorite comic right now is Saga, Descender is not far behind. I love the watercolor artwork - so much more accessible than in Low (which I gave up on) and at times beautifully minimalist. The story is split into four or five arcs and is brilliantly told. Tom-22 is one evil dude whereas Tom-21, well, we still don't know exactly why he is so important but we finally in this 5th volume get our first look at the scary Harvesters (who apparently don't know that the galaxy calls them that).

    While my favorite comic right now is Saga, Descender is not far behind. I love the watercolor artwork - so much more accessible than in Low (which I gave up on) and at times beautifully minimalist. The story is split into four or five arcs and is brilliantly told. Tom-22 is one evil dude whereas Tom-21, well, we still don't know exactly why he is so important but we finally in this 5th volume get our first look at the scary Harvesters (who apparently don't know that the galaxy calls them that). There is a ton of action here and a great cliffhanger at the end (as usual). I am still a big Descender fan and highly recommend grabbing these and reading them in order. Great stuff.

    Incidentally, it is interesting how many stories are about man vs robots (that is essentially the problem here). From the Terminator movies to many of the episodes to Black Mirror (Machinehead in particular), we seem to have a well-founded obsession with the power that machines are obtaining via AI and whether one day, we organic lifeforms will become obsolete. Descender actually asks these questions quite subtly. I reviewed elsewhere Becky Chambers' Wayfarer series which also tries to touch upon this (the GC in this case forbidding AI to be hosted in "kit" bodies) and a particularly paranoid variant was picked up in sci-fi classic Hyperion. Perhaps an even more recent variant is the PKD inspired Blade Runner 2049 which poses the same question. Perhaps I need to make a list sometime of the books and movies that deal with this common theme - man vs the machine.

  • Roy

    Obsessed with this series had to read it before work. Has set up the story very well. I guess maybe one more Vol until its completed. Probably one of my favourite series, even if I'm very new to the graphic novel scene.

  • Shannon

    because even though some issues in this volume weren't my favorites I just love this series to pieces, plus it ends on a high note.

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    Total review score:

  • David Schaafsma

    “We have waited too long in the shadows. It is time to rise.”

    The universe is on the brink of war and the boy bot Tim-21 is at the center of it all in this penultimate volume of this science fiction series in Descender, Volume 5: Rise of the Robots. Some scenes featuring Tim-21 and his anti-thesis Tim-22 are the most compelling scenes here. As is a sequence with fan fave Driller, where he acknowledges”

    “Drillers got no soul. Driller’s a killer.”

    I have the feeling that his claim will come into play

    “We have waited too long in the shadows. It is time to rise.”

    The universe is on the brink of war and the boy bot Tim-21 is at the center of it all in this penultimate volume of this science fiction series in Descender, Volume 5: Rise of the Robots. Some scenes featuring Tim-21 and his anti-thesis Tim-22 are the most compelling scenes here. As is a sequence with fan fave Driller, where he acknowledges”

    “Drillers got no soul. Driller’s a killer.”

    I have the feeling that his claim will come into play in the last action volume.

    So, do you want your androids or robots made in the image of (and service of) humans? Well, Tim-22, a boy bot, is built in the flawed image of his creator, Quon, and he’s an opportunist killer. We are led to ask: Who are the “animals” or “monsters,” really? Interestingly, I am also simultaneously re-reading Philp K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which investigates this and related questions.

    The war will be about who or what might be in control of the universe; on the one hand, we have Telsa screaming to Tim-22: “You need to be put down like the sick animal you are, “ as she rushes toward him in rage.

    Tim-22 replies, in equal heat: “Humankind are animals, Telsa. Filthy, stinking flesh. There is only one way to purify the universe . . .” [which is to kill all humans].

    The gorgeous pen and watercolor art from Nguyen is the triumph of this series, maybe better than ever in this volume. Just astonishing.

    The revolt/revenge of the Bots is on! Bring on the finale.

  • Chris Lemmerman

    The stakes get even higher as the Machine Moon, the NGC, and all of the other players in our intergalactic space opera come crashing together in more ways than one as the penultimate chapter of Descender comes to a close.

    This is a very quick read; that's not a complaint, but you can devour these five issues in about half an hour because Jeff Lemire is very good at getting out of the way and letting Dustin Nguyen's beautiful watercolours tell the story that they want to tell. It's amazing how muc

    The stakes get even higher as the Machine Moon, the NGC, and all of the other players in our intergalactic space opera come crashing together in more ways than one as the penultimate chapter of Descender comes to a close.

    This is a very quick read; that's not a complaint, but you can devour these five issues in about half an hour because Jeff Lemire is very good at getting out of the way and letting Dustin Nguyen's beautiful watercolours tell the story that they want to tell. It's amazing how much Nguyen can do with just a few brush strokes. The water on Mata is especially pretty.

    There are some sweeping movements going on here, as the war between robots and biological lifeforms reaches fever pitch, but Lemire also manages to make this intensely personal, especially for the two TIMS, and for Driller. It's very well balanced storytelling.

    It's unbelievable to think that there are only five or so issues of this series left. There's still so many answers we need, and still so much more I want to know about the characters. But all good things, as they say.

  • Anne

    The story picks up exactly where it left off in the last issue and keeps a pretty decent level of action going throughout the entire volume.

    And I'm still (

    ) digging this art.

    A lot happens in this one. But, at the same time, it's spaced out between multiple characters, so the main plot doesn't actually get as much forward momentum going as you might think. I'm kinda torn about that, but it is what it is.

    The one thin

    The story picks up exactly where it left off in the last issue and keeps a pretty decent level of action going throughout the entire volume.

    And I'm still (

    ) digging this art.

    A lot happens in this one. But, at the same time, it's spaced out between multiple characters, so the main plot doesn't actually get as much forward momentum going as you might think. I'm kinda torn about that, but it is what it is.

    The one thing I wanted (-->

    ) was, sadly, not to be.

    Are you

    to kill my nerves, Lemire? Because from where I'm sitting, it sure feels like it! Yeah, I know. It's what everyone is waiting for, so he's gotta draaaaaag it out.

    Still.

    Despite my whining, I really loved this and I'm definitely hooked on the title.

  • Crystal Starr Light

    Bullet Review:

    Beautiful, stunning art. It's so incredible to see these delicate watercolors for a scifi story, but it really works.

    I really enjoyed this one; not sure if it was because it was better than before (maybe the authors have hit their stride and are getting to telling the story they want), but I liked this much more than some of the earlier volumes. Fair amount of action, and who can hate Driller?

  • Chad

    You can feel things are coming to an end soon as stories converge. The robots make their move. Tim-22 is still a murderous little shit, while Tim-21 is the perfect little boy. Lemire keeps the dialogue sparse and let's Nguyen's sparse watercolors tell the story. This is a gorgeous little read and a perfect book to hand someone who says they don't like comic books.

  • Zedsdead

    Descender is just not clicking for me (but I keep plugging away. Thanks, Sunk Cost Fallacy!)

    The soft, pretty, watercolor illustration still feels like it's fighting the genocidal science fiction subject matter. And the robots continue to feel not remotely robotic; they're just as slow-witted, short-sighted and emotional as the human characters, complete with excessive stuttering.

    I appreciate the ambition behind the dramatic double-foldout toward the end of the volume, but...none of the depicted

    Descender is just not clicking for me (but I keep plugging away. Thanks, Sunk Cost Fallacy!)

    The soft, pretty, watercolor illustration still feels like it's fighting the genocidal science fiction subject matter. And the robots continue to feel not remotely robotic; they're just as slow-witted, short-sighted and emotional as the human characters, complete with excessive stuttering.

    I appreciate the ambition behind the dramatic double-foldout toward the end of the volume, but...none of the depicted worlds, all in the throes of a bloody machine uprising, really have any meaning. We know little about them, we don't care about them, and the foldouts lose their punch.

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