The Hardwire has began their full scale assault on Humankind while the UGC prepares for annihilation with their ultimate weapon: A Harvester.
Authors: Jeff Lemire
Illustrator: Dustin Nguyen
Letters: Steve Wands
Publisher: Image Comics
What You Need to Know:
Ten years ago, giant robots called “Harvesters” appeared near every planet in the United Galactic Council (UGC) and wiped out a majority of their inhabitants. This attacked caused a backlash towards all of machinekind, ensuring their genocide at the hands of assassins and military alike.
In the present day, the UGC has become aware of the reactivation of a little companion bot, Tim-21, who’s data programming shares a remarkable resemblance to that of the Harvesters. A race begins as many groups become interested in this little robot boy, including his old companion Andy.
Tim-21, Telsa, and Quon and found Quon’s old mentor, Doctor Solomon, and the ancient bot Quon stole technology from to create Tim-21 under the seas of Mata. They tell the group about The Descenders, an ancient race of robots that once tested humankind by sending their technology to be used. The test was failed when machinekind was turned into slaves instead of companions and mankind was wiped out. The ancient bot warns that humankind is on the precipice of another failed judgment.
The Hardwire has started their infiltration by attacking the UGC council, ready to eliminate humankind themselves. The Hardwire has also surrounded Nagoki’s ship outside of Mata, but he reveals the UGC has built a Harvester that they intend to use to keep order within the galaxy. He ass his daughter Telsa to bring Tim-21 to him, as he is the last piece they need to control the weapon.
What You’ll Find Out:
As The Hardwire closes in on Telsa and Tim-21’s group, the UGC is sending backup but still demanding that Telsa deliver Tim-21. Meanwhile, the Gnishian’s are closing in on the battle outside of Mata. Driller and the old Mizard are exploring the Gnishian ship when they find a weapon that they believe will cause trouble.
Dr. Soloman and the ancient robot look on as Telsa, Andy, Effie, and Dr. Quon work to keep The Hardwire back, when Andy pulls his gun on Telsa, threatening her if she continues her mission to bring Tim-21 to her father that he will kill her. Not impressed by his threat, Telsa convinces him to drop his weapon and she decides to let Tim-21 go, urging Andy, Effie, and Tim-21 to make an escape. Telsa says goodbye to Tim-21 and sends him on his way, but keeps Quon prisoner.
As Andy, Effie and Tim-21 are making their escape, a real Harvester appears and takes in the ship they are piloting. Inside, Tim speaks to The Descenders, who say that mankind has filed their judgment again, and will now be eliminated. Harvesters have appeared outside every planet in the UGC ready to fire. Tim-21 tries to show The Descenders that humans are learning, but they are learning slowly. Showing his memories of people like Telsa, his mother, and Andy, he tries to convince The Descenders to give mankind a little more time.
As Tim is on the verge of convincing The Descenders of mankind’s potential for empathy towards the robots, The Gnishians come out of hyperspace outside Mata and fire their ultimate weapon, wiping out The Hardwire in one fatal blow. The Descenders, seeing this, decide that there are no more changes and that mankind has failed their test once again.
What Just Happened?
The climax of the series has finally come about in an explosive final meeting that will surely determine the fate of the universe. As the Gnishian complete their genocide against machinekind, The Decsenders see that there is no hope for organic lifeforms. Tim-21’s naivity leads him to believe that because of a few good people and their choices, he can show The Descenders that a light at the end of the tunnel, but the extremism of the Gnishians quickly overshadows his sentiments, leading to what will surely be the genocide of humankind at the hands of The Descenders.
As the story has become a bigger picture about the fate of the universe, it is clear that the actions of a few are the ripples that will decide the fate of the universe. Small acts of kindness are what make Tim-21 believe that humankind is worth saving, but The Descenders remain unconvinced. Tim-21 will have to convince an entire race of people these small acts are enough to save the universe, but how is unclear.
The pacing of the climax seems to quicken as we approach the final issue. It’s unclear whether Lemire had this always in his master plan, or is racing to the end so that he can work on his other books. The final chapter of Descender will surely tell if Lemire will stick the landing, or is working on his Black Hammer project. With such a beautiful story so far, it would be sad to see it ending merely because Lemire had other projects to finish.
Final Thoughts: The penultimate issue of the series brings us to an explosive climax that will determine the fat of humankind and the universe alike. The personal choices of just a few individuals will decide the fate of all as Tim-21 tries to make peace for all groups and peoples.
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