With Ascender #1, from Image, we enter yet another astonishing series of worlds from Jeff Lemire.

Canadian writer and creator Jeff Lemire seems to have a virtually unlimited imagination in visualizing new scenarios; we’ve seen his work in Essex County Trilogy, Sweet Tooth, Animal Man, and the Black Hammer titles. Each one powerful, fully realized and multileveled. And fun to read.

Ascender, a sequel to Descender (full disclosure: I have not read Descender), is set ten years after Descender. Magic has taken the place of machinery. There is an all-powerful witch named “Mother”, a vampire. Mila spends her days exploring the lonely wilds of the planet Sampson, restless, bored and frustrated. But as her father tells her, it’s important to stay away from ‘Mother’, whose evil seems to have no limits. But what about the robots?

This one is a gripper. It engages you from the start. Dustin Nguyen’s artwork is simply incredible. He is so well suited to a title where the supernatural and the otherworldly themes really call out for an impressionistic watercolour treatment. It’s in the ‘ambiguity’ of the visuals where the wonder happens. What I mean is that Nguyen’s style of illustration leaves details for we the readers to fill in. And THAT is magic.


Image, Ascender #1, $3.99 for 31 pages of content, Rated Mature

By Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!