Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen are back with the second chapter of their newest saga – Ascender.
This issue picks up right on the heels of the previous one, with Bandit falling from the sky right next to Mila. Andy’s calling out to her scares her. However, it doesn’t compare to her shock when she learns Bandit, the Hound with the Backwards Tongue, is actually his dog. How and what brought them all together is a mystery that will surely push the story forward.
Meanwhile, Mother arrives on Gnish, home of the only Monarchy in the Galaxy. Long ago, Gnish was the home of the melting pits and the scrappers. The infrastructure needed to collect and destroy the remaining tech is the only reason Mother has tolerated the Monarchy and its apparent sovereignty. But she has grown dissatisfied with the King’s service and inability to fight the rebel (scums).
This issue moves quite faster than the first one. This world of magic is still fresh and unknown, in need of a lot of exposition. But Lemire packs in a nice action sequence in the middle to try and up the pace. The team has improved its game quite a lot since Descender debuted. While I love that series with a passion, the earlier issues did tend to slug a bit with over exposition. I will try not to bring up Descender too much in the coming months.
And speaking of not mentioning Descender too much, this issue leans on it a lot more than the first one did. Sure, it isn’t a mandatory read to understand and follow this book. The necessary plot points will most definitely be explored during the run of the book. However, I do advise on eventually getting around to it. It’s a helluva good read and it’ll make the backstory way clearer.
Dustin Nguyen is, again, killing it with his art. As I mentioned in my previous review, the general feel and setting benefit way more from his painted-art style. The bigger focus on organic characters open the doors to some really grotesque designs. The contrast between tech and organic is also a lot more impactful, as evident in the fight when Andy pulls out a BFG and starts shooting at vampires.
Also, that last page? I’d pay big to get that original art.
Ascender is easily one of the best new series to come out this year. Go and pick up the book while it’s still so fresh. And pick up Descender while you’re at it.
I think I’ll stop now.
Just read the darn book. It's great.