‘Ascender #1:’ Comic Book Review

Well, bah. I’m late to the party for Descender, but not too late to get in on the ground floor of Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s continuation in the upcoming series, Ascender.  The original series centered on Tim-21, a robot who lived in a galaxy where androids were illegal and humans hunted them. The new series carries over a few characters from the previous series, along with introducing new ones, but with a fantasy twist.

Mila is a young human girl who lives with her father outside a village populated by non-humans on the planet, Sampson. She is bored, resourceful, and resilient and does not understand why he refuses to allow her to be “saved” and join the community. His objection has merit, as we see that those who are saved follow the authoritarian rule of a being known as “Mother.” A powerful and cruel individual, Mother possesses magic that can raise and speak to the dead, as well as control those around her by a mere flick of her hand. It is a harrowing world Mila has been born into, and her wish to have robots live among them again could quite possibly be granted.

First of all, flying turtles are cool, so when I saw one, I was enchanted. Mr. Nguyen’s cover is gorgeous, and his watercolors are lovely. They give off a magical feeling throughout the book. The lettering is spot on, especially for Mila’s voice-over. I felt like it was a child with a rudimentary education letting us into her thoughts; however, Mother was introduced like she was Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. From the hood to the flowing cloak, to the grand entrance, and down to her wrinkled weathered looks, she exudes the dark side of the Force. Even Mila gives off a Luke Skywalker vibe as the outlier kid living in the middle of nowhere looking for excitement.  What will be interesting is learning more about the magic Mother possesses and how it will clash with what is coming.

Overall, it is a solid and fun beginning to what will probably be an interesting series.


Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Dustin Nguyen (artist), Steve Wands (letterer)
Publisher: Image Comics
Click here to purchase.




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