Ever hear the story of Pinocchio and the whale? (Or the Biblical story of Jonah and the whale?) This latest issue of Ascender quite literally has us diving into the ocean depths and the backstory of Telsa, the captain who reluctantly offered her boat to save Mira and her father, Andy.
The fight with Mother’s warriors leaves a wounded Andy captured and facing an unimaginable horror—his wife. Now a vampire-like creature, will she turn her husband (Remember him?), or will he be dinner? In this issue, Captain Telsa is dragged overboard by werewhales. Drowning, she finds herself temporarily saved in the belly of a larger beast, reflecting on how she got there and whether suicide is her best option. We are taken back into the past to see Telsa as a UGC soldier who fights on different planets for as long as she can until the odds are impossible. Along the way, she meets Helda who stands by her side no matter what. There is no resolution to the Andy storyline yet, but I imagine that will be in the next issue.
This was a good time to take a step back from the main storyline and learn more about Telsa and how she arrived on Sampson. An interesting narrative, it shows us how she went from duty-bound soldier to willing to do anything to survive. Her incredulity at hearing that monsters exist to eventually accepting that “of course there are monsters trying to eat us” is one based on hard experience and watching her soldiers die an ignoble death. The story is tight and the transitions smooth. Mr. Lemire has mastered the concept of “get in late and get out early” scene construction.
I definitely look forward to the next issue.
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Dustin Nguyen (artist), Steve Wands (letterer)
Publisher: Image Comics
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