Ascender #1, Image Comics

(Courtesy of Image Comics)

Solemn, haunting, and visually stunning, Ascender #1 (Image Comics) introduces a riveting post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller with an underlying sense of innocence. Set ten years after the conclusion of Descender, the first installment of Ascender establishes a gritty world with a stunning landscape and a melancholy mood. 

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 shows up, nothing will ever be the same! 

Here are 5 reasons why you should get Ascender #1:

5) Magic!

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, WriterJeff Lemire explains how magic works within this world, “You have to have a logic to the magic in this universe, and that’s something I’m still figuring out as I go. Visually, I think it’s good for Dustin [Nguyen], because instead of doing all the mechanical stuff, all this cold stuff, it suddenly changes to this warmer, more organic, visual. It feels fresh.”

4) The Writing!

Not only does the narrative builds its own fantastical world, writer Jeff Lemire presents a coming-of-age tale from Mila’s perspective. As readers, we’re witnessing the social class and marketplace through a child’s eyes. Steve Wand’s lettering captures Mila’s rebellious spirit as she keeps being put down by outside forces.

3) The Artwork!

In the opening pages, artist Dustin Nguyen captures a somewhat dying planet that has lost its green. What’s left in its place are rubble, medieval castles, and dragon-like creatures. Nguyen amps up the surreal imagery in later pages, illustrating a giant tortoise flying in the air.

2) The Colors!

Notice the blue and brown tones in Mila’s character design. To highlight her young age, it’s almost like she’s wearing a school uniform. Red foreshadows impending disaster in the climatic pages.  

1) An Impressive Start!

With stylish artwork and a bold vision, Ascender #1 presents an extraordinary world inhabited by interesting characters. An impressive start to Ascender, I cannot wait to see what happens next in Mila’s journey. 

Ascender #1 arrives in stores April 24th, 2019. 

By Jorge Solis