The Past Is Prologue In Ascender #3

by Tony Thornley

As the saying goes, the past is prologue. However, in a series like Ascender, which follows the events of Descender a decade later, they’re also an epilogue. The interesting thing this issue shows us though is that it’s also a story of its own.

Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, and Steve Wands show us a lot more of Andy and Mila, maybe more than we expected.

Mother’s forces are coming for them, and Andy and Mila have mere minutes to figure out a plan that will take the father and daughter off world. However, they might have a much more powerful ally than they realize in the recently returned Rover. Meanwhile, we see the events of Andy’s decade between the end of Descender and issue #1, and the horrifying truth of what happened to Effie…

It’s impressive when a single issue of a comic is able to tell two wildly different stories at all, but to do it as successfully as Lemire does here is monumental. He tells the flashback story with a lot of heart, and once again is able to show new readers to this universe- like myself- enough that they get the importance of what’s happening without bogging us down too much in the past. The chase set in the present is thrilling, giving us a lot of further insight into what lengths Andy would go as a parent, and hints of how their bond has formed in the 7 years since the last flashback.

Nguyen’s work continues to be stunning. His designs of the vampiric servants of Mother’s play a big part in this issue, and we see them in terrifying action this issue, rather than just lurking around Mother. They move like rabid dogs, and their victims’ transformation is horrifying with a shift in demeanor, body language, and even anatomy. The chase in the present is just as thrilling, introducing a massive monster that feels like the vampires’ spiritual sibling, and adding a massive amount of tension (pun intended).

The series’ action is ramping up and it appears a war is coming. It’ll be fun to see how it plays out.

Ascender #3 is available now from Image Comics.

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