Image Comics 2015
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Dustin Nguyen
TIM is the last survivor of a distant mining colony, with only his small pet-bot, BANDIT and the lumbering mining-bot DRILLER to keep him company. He may also hold the secret to The Harvesters in his machine DNA. The UGC has dispatched a science team that includes TIM’s creator, the brilliant DOCTOR QUON, to recover TIM-21, but a team of brutal robot-hunting Scrappers arrived first and attacked, seemingly destroying TIM-21…
There’s something about this story that is both creepy and yet innocent at the same time. Tim acts like a little boy even though he’s just a robot, granted a very special one and this is his tale of growing and becoming more than his creator could ever dream he could be. After having been attacked by the Scrappers and seemingly destroyed his consciousness has gone to a place where all the other destroyed robots exist. Kind of like a collective consciousness of those who have passed.
Jeff is telling a very different kind of science fiction story here from a unique point of view by a character that in all honesty you kind form an immediate bond with. Yes once upon a time there was conflict and the Scrappers appeared hunting the robots destroying about ninety percent of them so I can’t say there will be a reckoning of sorts or if this is just the story of what happened to those robots as seen through Tim’s eyes. It seems he has his own destiny here and what that is we learn alongside him. With strange and beautiful planets as the backdrop we see some really unexpected things.
Driller is trying to fix Tim as he rushes him to a lab after he was shot and his system is failing. This kind of compassion among the robots raises interesting questions. This though leads directly to Tim’s creator Doctor Quon’s arrival on the planet and the crew he travels with under Captain Telsa who is more than a bit of a hardass. Her chat with the good Doctor reveals a little bit more and if you pay attention then perhaps you’ll understand what the Doctor is really doing here and what her goal ultimately is.
Doctor Quon in my opinion really did just want to help and create and contribute that his work was hijacked by the Harvesters and putting a question mark on his intentions is the fear sentient beings have when trying to create an answer for what’s happened. There’s going to be a whole new can of worms that have been opened with what Tim experienced while his system failed and Quon’s inability to accept that his creation can do things he doesn’t believe possible should be interesting. Let’s hope Telsa sees the opening here when Tim describes what he saw and the connection to those robots who wanted him to stay since they were a result of the Harvester’s actions.
I’m normally not a fan of Dustin’s work but the watercolour effect he does here and the way you can see the emotion especially on Quon’s face is really lovely. Yes i like more detailed stuff but this is nice the touches of colour around the characters making them pop really is quite an accomplishment.
With each issue we get drawn further into this story and it grows and evolves and could quite possibly be the best sleeper hit Image has.