‘Ascender #2:’ Comic Book Review

Looking for a new space adventure? Then, I may have found the one you are looking for.  A sequel to Descender, we are dropped into a universe where technology has been systematically destroyed by a new religion led by a non-human creature who is referred to as Mother. It is unclear yet whether her power is based on magic, the supernatural, or something else.  Humans are outliers on every habitable world that we’ve seen so far, and being caught with technology is punishable by death.

At the end of issue one, we met a young human girl named Mila and her father who live on the planet, Sampson.  Her boredom almost gets her into trouble with the local non-human authorities, as well as her father. Frustrated, she dreams of finding forbidden technology. It isn’t long before a meteor falls from the sky containing a small mobile robot.  

In issue two, Mila is terrified that her father will find out about what she has found, but his reaction surprises her. The little robot was his pet dog that he owned years ago when he still had his robot companion, Tim-21. The heartwarming moment is short lived, though, as Mother’s goons have discovered the robot is there. Meanwhile, Mother wants to complete the eradication of all technology and is frustrated by the UGC rebels. Not wanting to spoil anything, we do learn that Mila is made of some pretty stern stuff.

I found this issue to be better than the first. The art and paneling moved the story along briskly, and I really started to become engaged with the characters and the little robot.  I enjoyed the art immensely, particularly the use of inserts with the splash pages.  As I mentioned before, Mr. Nguyen’s watercolors set the comic apart from most others. And though the story has a Star Wars feel about it, when Mother did the “eye” thing, I had a flash back to Babylon 5. Though in this instance, the “eye” multiplied and became a Lovecraftian creature. It was all pretty cool.

The issue also contains a preview of a new comic series entitled A Sea of Stars which got me hooked. I look forward to reading the next issue of both.


Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Dustin Nguyen (artist), Steve Wands (letterer)

Publisher: Image Comics
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