Review: Ascender #1

Ascender #1

Set ten years after the conclusion of Descender‘s storyline, magic has taken the place of machinery and the rules are very different indeed… 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’s shows up, nothing will ever be the same!

Ascender #1 acts as both a beginning and continuation of the epic story from writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dustin Nguyen. The series is a continuation of the critically praised Descender though replaces the focus on technology with a focus on magic. It is fantasy to the previous volume’s sci-fi.

Though knowledge of the previous volume is helpful, the first issue is a fresh start with some references to what has come before but none of it being vital or enjoyment. It really is the best of both worlds helping create a greater tapestry of wonder but also being a way for those new to begin their journey.

The first issue is all set up, painting a new picture of a world, its politics, and the conflict within. None of what’s presented is new or fresh but it’s done in a grand tradition of fantasy that makes it magical in a sense.

That is helped by the art which is a painted beauty unlike anything else on the market. The comic, like the previous series, is a joy to look at in its design of characters, worlds, settings, and situations, done in water color like style. It’s breathtaking to look at and enjoy.

This is a flip to what has come before and the magic vs. technology set up is obvious. To see where it goes and how much it hearkens back to the first series will be interesting but if this first issue is any indication, it’s a continuation that’ll stand on its own bringing enjoyment to new readers and excitement for those who have been there since the beginning.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Dustin Nguyen Lettering: Steve Wands
Story: 8.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review