Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars

When TIM-21, a young robot programmed as a child's companion, awakens in a world where a quelled robotic uprising has resulted in the outlawing and subsequent hunting down of robotic life, TIM-21 must find his place in a universe that fears and hates his kind. In Descender, writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dustin Nguyen have created a lively update on the Pinocchio character. Lemire's stories have traditionally taken the emotions and events of one person's life and played them against the cosmos' mysterious ways and Descender is no exception. In this six-issue collection, Lemire fills the universe with characters—some human, some not—exploring and exposing their humanity in both beautiful and disgusting manners. Nguyen's art is exceptional, particularly when evoking life from TIM-21. The simple panels that open the fourth issue have TIM-21's expressions bursting with life—creating a protagonist at odds between his hardy hardwiring and all the insecurities and vulnerabilities of a young child. Even before Lemire's story makes it clear that TIM-21 is special, readers form a connection to him that's all too human.