Image Comics 2019
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Dustin Nguyen
Lettered & Designed by Steve Wands
“THE HAUNTED GALAXY,” Part One
Set ten years after the conclusion of DESCENDER’s storyline, magic has taken the place of machinery and the rules are very different indeed… Mila, the daughter of Andy and Effie from DESCENDER, spends her days exploring the lonely wilds of the planet Sampson and trying to stay out of the clutches of the evil disciples of the all-powerful vampire witch known only as Mother. But, like her parents, Mila doesn’t like to play by the rules, and when a certain robot pal of her dad’s shows up, nothing will ever be the same!
First off let me just say this, if you haven’t read Descender but are interested in this, pick it up you don’t have to read the prior to enjoy this. I guarantee that once you read this you’ll want to read Descender however. For those who couldn’t get enough of Descender well here we are with the next phase in the history of this universe. On a side note maybe it’s just me but Dustin’s work has become something so much more than when he started the franchise. It’s as if doing this as often as he has just improved his skill and that’s saying something people!
Jeff is such a master of his craft and the way that he structures this have a seemingly effortless ebb & flow to it. We start with the opening which is gorgeous the then and now of the smallest core planet of the United Galactic Council. There is this beautiful sense of awe and wonder that comes with it and what we see. Which transitions into this cold harsh reality of what occurs here and it’s this that grabs the attention as much as anything else could. At this stage these two know how to work together and sync up what the other means to the point rarely achieved in the industry.
I am very much enjoying the characterisation here as well. They really well developed including those we’ve seen or met before. From Mother to a salesman in a market stall we get to see these people as people regardless of their station in life and what they can do. From Slaves to indentured to the very few whom are free the range of characters in this issue surprised me, in a good way, and the complexity of their living arrangements intrigues me.
The interiors here are really rather exquisite. I am blown away by the linework itself which has this immediate effect that the hand is either that strong or is uncontrollable or both and to be honest I think it borders on brilliance. Mother’s visage which is more like Granny Goodness as Darkseid is crazy good and even when she’s got resting (bitch) face she still looks hella threatening. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show off this stupendous eye for storytelling. The colour work here is amazing and the watercolour wash that we see which makes some nice gradation effects is beautiful. PS that tortoise yeah I want that it has to go on my wall, I mean OH sweet child of mine.
God the story is so good. The plot and story development with it’s pacing and the characterisation of these characters and to see these worlds is such a beautiful thing. I loved seeing the encounter with Trilly, the so-called slaves and the two cavemen-esque who “command” them. The whole father/daughter business, everything that we see here advances the story as it expands our knowledge of the worlds, the way of things and the characters themselves. We really couldn’t ask for something this good that fits into that world of galactic science fiction like the last piece of a puzzle.