ASCENDER #13, available in comic book stores on Wednesday, September 30th, escalates the conflict between Mother and the resistance tenfold. While our hero Mila is in the midst of a space flight from Sampson, Mother’s forces continue to grow, extending their reach further into the cosmos. Will Mila and the team avoid them forever, or will their pursuers catch up after acquiring more allies?
The story follows Mila, Telsa, Hilda, and the rest of their crew en route to a new location: Phages. Hilda describes this place as a “ghost planet,” warning Telsa against bringing them there. The pilot notes how Mother is even afraid of the planet. But this only encourages her partner even more; the hardened fighter has finally found a place to rest (or so she believes).
Throughout much of this narrative, the writing gives readers an insight into the young protagonist’s thoughts regarding the adventure so far. We feel her rollercoaster of feelings as the memories of their recent flight from Sampson and Mother’s forces. And she notes how much she misses Andy and her old life.
But while all of this is taking place, readers are brought to Mother herself, who’s decided to release a universal order to bring in any USG rebels hiding throughout the universe, which of course includes Mila and the crew.
Writer Jeff Lemire is a master of story escalation. Being able to balance scenes of calm and reflection with those full of excitement and danger makes his writing so engaging.
Dustin Nguyen’s artwork and Steve Wands’s lettering were the perfect pairing for this narrative. Their depictions of Mila’s frustrations in learning magic, as well as her longing for her father, helps readers treat her as if she were a real person. And Mila’s dialogue, depicted as torn pages from her journal, draws readers into the narrative even more.
ASCENDER #13 is equal parts introspective and adrenaline-fueled. And this is why we love Lemire’s storytelling.
What do you think lies in store on the planet of Phages? Let us know in the comments below!