Review by Jamie McNeil
Wow. Just wow! The opening chapter of Orbital Mechanics has some of the best written and illustrated sequences you will see. It’s one thing to script a fabulous cliff-hanger in Machine Moon, another to stretch it throughout Singularities. Finishing a plot point you started a year earlier, in even better style, is phenomenal! Prepare to be blown away!
TIM-21 is a companion droid. His artificial intelligence is key in protecting the decimated galactic government from invasion. Sent to retrieve TIM-21 when he reappeared from stasis, his creator Dr Qoun and soldier Captain Telsa find themselves captive with TIM. The Machine Moon is the sanctuary of robotic resistance movement the Hardwire. Now that the Hardwire’s true intentions are revealed, TIM and his companions are in danger. Elsewhere Andy, droid Driller, soldier Tullis and robo-dog Bandit have gone seeking the help of Effie/Queen Between. Her cyborg engineering and natural talent with computers could help track down TIM-21. Yet dark secrets and uncomfortable truths surface to threaten their mission. Unknown to them the fate of the Galaxy depends on their fortunes.
Boy does Jeff Lemire know how to resolve a cliffhanger with flair and this is a master class lesson. The story, dialogue and characters are all positively enthralling and utterly enjoyable. Dustin Nguyen crafts a beautiful opening, only three frames per page with three different perspectives. Even with little dialogue Nguyen is able to encapsulate and convey exactly what Lemire means. Lust, love, fear, anger, resentment, mistrust, tension, passion, rage, betrayal, vulnerability – it drips sexy! Nguyen hardly missteps, changing perspectives like a cinematographer. He is ever improving and this is his best work of the series so far. Perhaps his best work ever? Lemire’s script is oh so clever and with Nguyen’s help, Orbital Mechanics unfolds as the best outing of Descender yet.
This is a visual and literary masterpiece, one of the best sci-fi stories to appear in years. Not only will it appeal to Sci-Fi fans but even those who don’t usually read the genre. If you love art then this is a wonderful feast for the eyes with plenty panels and pages worth framing. It’s bold, moving and a super read. Go! Buy all four copies, read them! Descender fulfils all the hype and its next instalment is eagerly anticipated.