Ascender #4 Is Already Changing The Game

by Tony Thornley

The best kind of stories never sit complacent. Ascender has already proven that, and after only four issues, it’s shown how fluid and dynamic this story will be.

Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, and Steve Wands push us deeper into the series’ world.

Andy and Mila are stunned to realize that Bandit is so much more than the AI pet that Andy always thought it was. In the wake of that revelation, they rush to make it off-world. Meanwhile, Mother comes face to face with the resistance, who has a stunning revelation of their own…

Lemire crafts a story that is wholly unique, peeling back layers of the world and the beings in it to show us how much we really don’t know about the story. He shows that this is so much more than a sequel to another story- it’s totally its own thing.

Best of all, he’s crafting a mythology while focusing on his characters. We get to see more of the bond between Andy and Mila, but it’s all framed through their chase across the planet. It’s a great example of the principle of “show, don’t tell” and it’s done in a way that you don’t realize what’s happening until it already happened.

Nguyen’s art is still stunning. His watercolors are stunning works of art with every panel, but he’s also able to tell a story clearly with them. He’s able to make the story flow across the page, with just the positioning of the characters and creatures of the page leading the readers’ eyes. He also is able to pull back in the appropriate moments, giving us a sense of scale and awe.

I’m not seeing this series get talked about enough. That’s a shame, because it’s exciting, beautiful, and a fantastic read.

Ascender #4 is available now from Image Comics.

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