ASCENDER #14 hits comic book stores on Wednesday, October 28th, bringing readers one step closer to discovering the fate of Tim-21. Fans of the Descender series will remember him as the robot protagonist who helped bring humans and machines together. That call is a tall order for today, however, with divisions between the two groups more stark than ever. Can the machines and the flesh and blood types work together to decipher Bandit’s map and invigorate the resistance?
Our story opens with clashes between the pilots and Dr. Jin Quon (now almost fully robot), reminding long time fans of their conflicting personalities. Tesla and Helda’s rage at the detached Quon seems justified to readers, however. The “ghost” beings on Phages attacked Mila, causing her to fall into an unconscious stupor. And Quon seems unconcerned.
But it’s not all for lost; the young magic wielder receives a premonition of imminent danger that could help prepare the group for what’s to come.
Will this spur the two groups—Quon and his machines and the living—to work together in their quest to follow Bandit’s map to his former owner?
Much like previous issues, Jeff Lemire’s narrative fluctuates between Mila’s perspective and Andy’s. While the former attempts to understand her magical vision, the latter works with Effie to defend Sampson from one of the largest vampire attacks yet.
The escalation continues to build in this thrilling story. Engaging character dynamics make this issue is perfect for readers both familiar and unfamiliar with the series.
Dustin Nguyen’s penciling, ink work, and coloring demonstrates an ability to switch between vastly different scenes with incredible fluidity. The clean, metallic surfaces of the hideout on Phages are contrasted with the earthy tones found on Sampson without compromising the integrity of either.
Steve Wands’s lettering was an incredible asset to the illustrations as a whole. The scenes in which the fonts are bolded captures the intense emotions of each character.
ASCENDER #14, like many of the issues in this series, pays fan service through its many references from Descender. It isn’t necessary for readers to read the previous series, but it definitely helps.
What was the biggest surprise for you in this issue? Let us know in the comments below!