Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender just dropped the last issue of its inaugural arc, telling the story of a unique robot named TIM-21. But this month's Descender #6 revealed that he may not be quite so unique with the introduction of another robot, TIM-22. TIM-22 and his companions have started on a cosmic odyssey, but according to the writer their biggest adventures is still ahead.
Lemire still has a full plate on his hands, even with his DC exclusive contract having expired. Lemire has been busy making waves over at Valiant (The Valiant) as well as Marvel (All-New Hawkeye), but Descender is never far from the writer’s fingertips. Newsarama chatted with Lemire about the ending of the first arc and where TIM-21 and company are headed to next.
Newsarama: Jeff, so the finale of the first arc of has the biggest reveal of Descender so far, taking us back to some of Dr. Quon's backstory as well as finding out that he didn't create TIM-21. It almost reminds me of something out of Ancient Aliens. Was that ever an influence?
Jeff Lemire: I actually didn’t know the reference to Ancient Aliens. I had to ask Dustin and he told me about the show and that his son, Brad loves it. So, no, not an influence on Descender from my end, but Dustin may have brought some into with the visuals, I’d have to ask.
Nrama: #6 was sort of a character piece for Quon and what led him to discover the ancient robot on the planet Ostrakon. What can you tell us about the relationship between Quon and his mentor, Professor Solomon? Will that be explored more later on?
Lemire: The relationship and history between Quon and Solomon will definitely be explored further. Obviously, from what we’ve seen, Quon was a promising student whose ambition led him to betray his mentor and take credit for a lot of work that he wasn’t responsible for. And, his theft may also have inadvertently led to the Harvester holocaust. This is a huge burden on Quon. As for what happened to Solomon after Quon left him…you’ll have to wait and see!
Nrama: Without giving too much away, who are, or I guess were, the Ostrakonians? Are they a major player in the long run, or something for just this moment?
Lemire: The Ostrakonian civilization no longer exists, all that remains are ruins. They will, however play a major role in the mystery of TIM-21 and the Harvesters.
Nrama: You’ve now introduced the Hardwire, an underground robot resistance movement at the end of #6. What will their role be now with TIM-21? Are they to be his new guardians or something more?
Lemire: The relationship between TIM-21 and the Hardwire will be a major focus of our next arc, “Machine Moon.". We will see the hidden homeworld of the Hardwire, the robot resistance. More specifically, TIM-21, Telsa, Quon and the gang will be brought there. But not all of TIM’s companions will make it that far.
Nrama: With the introduction to TIM-22, how will this affect TIM-21? How does he see his new "brother"?
Lemire: We will delve deeper into the origin of TIM-22 and what makes he and TIM-21 unique from one another and what their existence means to one another and to the larger mystery.
Nrama: Will you be opening up on TIM-22's upbringing, or will that be a mystery?
Lemire: Now, the interesting thing will be to see who TIM-22 is. Where did he grow up? What were his experiences in the last 10 years and how did he adapt to them?
Nrama: When you started out working with Dustin Nguyen in the beginning, you mentioned how excited you were when he said he wanted to fully-paint the series. Did you have any expectations going in with this collaboration and has he met them?
Lemire: I knew Dustin’s work well, and have always loved it, but Descender is the best work he’s ever done. He has blown away all my expectations. I can’t say enough about him. Our collaboration is effortless. Wait until you see some of the new worlds and tech in arc 2. Amazing stuff!
Nrama: Now Descender will be on a hiatus coming back in November, with the "Machine Moon" arc, what is going to be the big focus this time around?
Lemire: Arc 2 will be titled, “Machine Moon”, which refers to the hidden homeworld of the Hardwire. In addition to exploring the Hardwire and TIM and his companions relationship with them we will a major new character. One I am very excited about. One with links to TIM-21’s past and one who will change the course of the series completely.