Review by Jamie McNeil
Companion robot TIM-21 woke up from a ten year stasis to find robots outlawed. Everyone in the Galaxy is looking for TIM-21. His robotic DNA may hold secrets to the Harvesters. These giant robots devastated the galaxy a decade ago and might be returning. Currently TIM and his companions are in the custody of the devious Gnish. Liberation has come from the Hardwire, robotic resistance fighters who claim to fight for the freedom and equality of all life forms. All TIM wants is to find his “brother” Andy who he believes is alive. The galaxy teeters on the brink of all-out war and everyone seems to be hiding one agenda after the other. No one can be trusted, especially those who call themselves friend.
Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen continue the enchanting saga of TIM-21. Like the previous Tin Stars, Machine Moon is full of charming characters, adventure and a unique visual style. It pulsates with paranoia, rings with regret, and mines dark humour. Lemire’s TIM-21 is petulant and naive, a robotic Pinocchio wanting to be a real boy. His creator Dr Qoun is a snivelling creature. Career soldier Telsa, tasked with recovering TIM, simmers with resentment. New characters are captivating, introduced with plot developments that keep you entranced, and Lemire’s dialogue is superb. He uses social observations to add incredible depth as he ekes humanity from his players: “It is funny how humans do not care for their elderly. I think if they could discard them once they become faulty, the way they discard us, they would.” – TIM-22
Artist Nguyen’s work compliments Lemire’s writing so well. He wrings emotion from the page, capturing tiny nuances in characters’ facial features. TIM’s emotional displays disarm you so his exquisitely detailed robotics can surprise. It works well at adding a sophisticated layer of tension throughout. Colour contrasts are brilliant, the perspectives changing on a spacecraft mid-flight astounding. City-scapes are imaginative, accentuating already magnificent world building. Stunning flashbacks in grey wash reveal more details. The only disappointment is that the binding in print editions disrupts the scenery.
Machine Moon has something for everyone: cyborgs, aliens, robots, space battles, unlikely companions, dramady, complex societies and sinister plots. Is it any wonder Descender keeps accumulating the fans? Including the likes of creators Mark Millar and Greg Rucka? This is quirky, unusual and riveting stuff. More adventure and personalities unfold in Singularities. The first three volumes are also combined in a harback Deluxe Edition.