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Descender, Volume 5: Rise of the Robots: 11/10/20

Descender, Volume 5: Rise of the Robots

Descender, Volume 5: Rise of the Robots by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen is the penultimate volume and begins the set up for the Ascender series. The Robot Resistance has all its key players ready and this is their moment. Meanwhile the origins of the Harvesters will finally be revealed.

If this were a film, volume five would be the big climatic fight where the seats would be reverberating from all the explosions. There's a ton of cutting back and forth between key fights and our various heroes, still separated by circumstances. There's also the beginning of personal and large scale reckonings. On the personal level, Tim-22 is defeated.

As with so many of these volumes that are essentially just the climax, I found myself less invested that I was in any of the previous ones. I know fights are fun to write and fun to draw. I know a lot of readers get the most excited for the final fight. I'm just not one of them.

From screen time (panel time), Tim-21 is the clear protagonist in this volume. How his narrative progresses also defines the series' shift from cyberpunk/horror to fantasy in the road narrative spectrum.

Evolution of the Descender comic on the road narrative spectrum

Tim-21 as the last remaining boy shaped robot with the original codex by dint of his survival becomes an orphan traveler (FF). He is well beyond being just a product of his programming to be once again a scarecrow traveler. His destination is home, or more precisely the source of his codex (66). His route there is a watery one, an extraterrestrial rendition of the tkaronto (FF). Volume 5 then is about an orphan traveler going home via the tkaronto (FF66FF).

Four stars

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