Mind Capsules – Descender #2 and Spider-Woman #6

Descender #2
Descender #2

Writer – Jeff Lemire
Artist – Dustin Nguyen

The latest issue of Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s newest science-fiction opus is centered upon Tim-21, the robot who looks like a little boy and for all accounts and purposes, is.  Half of this story sees Tim-21 on the run and Lemire creates a palpable sense of excitement and worry as you wonder if he will escape the bounty hunters that are after him.  The other half is told in flashbacks which make you empathize with the little guy as you follow his life from activation to the current time.  It is an interesting way of telling the story as it creates two conflicting emotions within you and yet it works perfectly because by the end of the issue, that finale leaves you a little breathless.  As you read the book, you get a sense of what is going to happen and it grows with every page that you turn.  It is a taut and tension-filled tale and like a bomb about to go off, you know that what is coming is unavoidable yet you keep reading anyways and what happens it is not necessarily shocking, simply unavoidable.  Dustin Nguyen’s artwork is beautiful and probably the best of his career so far.  It is very emotive and perfectly suited for telling the story of a child like Tim-21.  Not only that, but the man can draw tech and fantastical creatures as well and all of it looks spectacular.  Also done really well and lending to the tale is the colouring scheme with its muted palette for the current time frame and the grey tones for the flashbacks.  Simply put, this is one great looking issue.  In all, you have to love a book that moves you emotionally, especially one that is so fresh out of the gate like this one is.  But good storytelling is good storytelling and this book is written and drawn masterfully.  After reaching that conclusion, you do know that there has to be more to come, but as with all things, we will have to wait until the next issue to find out.

4.5 out of 5

Spider-Woman #6
Spider-Woman #6

Writer – Dennis Hopeless
Artist – Javier Rodriguez
Inker- Alvaro Lopez
Colours – Javier Rodriguez

The mystery of the super-villain families gone missing continues as Spider-Woman does a little investigating, a little interrogating and comes up with a plan to get to the bottom of it all, but only after narrowly escaping death.  Just a day like any other!  These new adventures of Spider-Woman as chronicled by Dennis Hopeless have really given new life to the character.  Jessica Drew has always been interesting, whether as an agent of Hydra, of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers, sometimes all three or even solo, but now it is like seeing a side of her that was previously buried.  And the fact is that maybe it was.  With no affiliations whatsoever except for that as friend, family or confidante, Jessica is finally free from all obligations and should she choose, she can give up the hero-ing business too and just sit at home, though thankfully for us she does not actually do so.  Unlike the first arc of the book which was fairly serious in tone and tied into the Spider-Verse event, this new direction is lighthearted and funny.  Very funny actually.  There is not a single page in the entire book that fails to elicit a smile.  The use of Z-list villains is becoming a common occurrence in many of Marvel’s titles at the moment and while it would almost seem like overkill sometimes, that point has not been reached so far and hopefully it does not, for they make good comedy relief.  The villain featured in this particular issue is the Porcupine, a man just as ridiculous as the Grizzly.  Maybe even more so and yet Porcupine becomes relatable under the guiding hand of Hopeless and someone who you would not mind seeing in an ongoing role as a supporting character.  Really, if you are not reading this book, then you are truly missing out.

4.5 out of 5

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