Ascender, the science fiction fantasy series set within the world of Descender, continues this week with Ascender #6. Published by Image Comics, Ascender is written by Jeff Lemire with art by Dustin Nguyen, and with letters and design from Steve Wands. We’re now at Ascender #6 and in the last issue, we followed Andy and Mila as they begged for assistance from Telsa, an old acquaintance of his and ship captain. However, it’s clear that they didn’t end on good terms. Then, the militia show up and they have to move, but Andy injured, thrown overboard, and now Mia has to continue her escape with Bandit alone. On the last page, Andy bobbed up from the water, showing us that he made it.
Now, in Ascender #6, Andy finds himself in the clutches of the Militia as Mother is closing in on Sampson. Pulled from the sea, he’s healed by a Saved healer and kept for interrogation, tossed in a cell with others. While there, a ghost from his past shows up.
Meanwhile, Mila is on her way out from Sampson with Telsa and the past begins to come out. The whole of this issue is emotional, specifically as Mila processes her grief, believing that her father is dead. Balled up as the ship moves, she’s alone and the imagery from Nguyen is somber and cold. When Telsa consoles Mila, we get to not only see her softer side to balance out the surly attitude of the last issue. We also get a further glimpse into her and Andy’s relationship.
Having been together during the second Descender War, they both experienced loss. It’s that loss that bonds Telsa to Mila and connects her with the family. It’s clear that Telsa’s earlier anger was because she carries grief, more than we got to see in Ascender #6, and opens a door for a character arc I can’t wait to see.
The art is stunning, as it is in every issue. It’s soulful and fantastic. Warm and inviting at points, cold and distant at others, and whenever Mother is in a panel, it is terrifying. Nguyen knows how to tell a story with his art and Lemire’s emotional narrative has made Ascender a great science fiction – fantasy to read. It’s lovely, action-packed, and has been nearly perfect across the six issues that have been published. Ascender #6 brings the emotional weight and in it, we start to see the background of the current story. The world of Ascender just gets bigger and more interesting to fall into.
Ascender #6 is available now wherever comic books are sold.
Ascender #6 brings the emotional weight and in it, we start to see the background of the current story. The world of Ascender just gets bigger and more interesting to fall into.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.