I love longer stories, especially when they’re good ones! That was the case with Descender, which was really epic in nature.

Now, along comes another tale from the same universe, this time called Ascender. I’ve really been looking forward to it, and the debut issue did not disappoint.


Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Solicitation for Ascender:  Set ten years after the conclusion of Descender, in Ascender the machines have gone away, and in their absence magic has reclaimed the universe. Now one girl must embark on an epic quest to find robotkind and its fabled boy messiah, TIM-21, before it’s too late…


Granted, there are some clear differences between Descender and Ascender.  For instance, the first focused on a male character while the latter looks primarily at a female antagonist. Then, too, there’s more magic and less science in this new series. And those are just some of the differences that make it a new experience.

I have to say that I consider Mr. Lemire the “king of drama” when it comes to his storytelling. He doesn’t have a lot of action and/or violence in his tales, but I never seem to notice that unless I’m specifically looking for it. Right away, you begin to care about the people and what’s happening to them, quite the contrast to videogames.

The interesting thing about it is that Mila, the main character, is actually looking for machines. That’s quite a contrast to the previous series as well. That was stunning to me.

I’m also fascinated by the fact that the apparent main baddie is “Mother,” who is quite the mean one when someone crosses her. She also has lots of darker magic at her disposal, such as reviving a dead soldier to interrogate him, and doing it quite nastily. It’s so odd that “mothers” can be quite the villains when they want to be!

Contrasts like these make this book a great read right out of the gate!


Nguyen’s artwork is really eye-popping when it comes to a more “natural” setting instead of the mechanized universe we previously experienced. Again, his ability to portray expressions are key to making this book work well, and it does!

I also enjoy the painted style, which seems more realistic to me. I felt like I was there, standing next to what was happening. A great job!


I honestly think that this team is one of the best in comics today! They pulled me in from the first panel and made me feel strongly regardless if it was Mother or Mila we were examining. Even those two females were fascinating studies in contrast!

Granted, you don’t really need to have read Descender to enjoy Ascender, but you probably would get more out of it. I know that buying longer story arcs can be intimidating, but you truly don’t need to have read one to appreciate the other. But you will enjoy the various contrasts if you do, so I’d personally recommend picking up Descender if you’re interested.

Eventually, the two females must clash, but we’ll be exploring a different world than we have in the past, and I’m truly looking forward to it! Highly recommended!

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Ascender #1


A great start in its own right!

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About Author

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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