Ascender Vol. 1 – The Galaxy Infested J. Lemire & D. Nugyen | Review


Published on Feb 13, 2020


The award-winning couple consisting of Jeff Lemire, the versatile and prolific canadian author, and illustrator Dustin Nguyen is renewed with Ascender, a new Image series, which arrives in Italy, thanks to BAO Publishing – which became the Italian home of the same Lemire – and thanks to which we have been able to read a preview of this first volume entitled The Galaxy Haunted.

It is appropriate to say: where were we?

Yes, because Ascender is the sequel of the previous series signed by Lemire and Nguyen called Descender and published in Italy by BAO – our reviews HERE.

A very brief summary, therefore, it is desirable that: the robot Tim-21 was in spite of himself ended up at the centre of an interplanetary war between humans and robots. A war that began decades before, when the mysterious creatures, the Descender, sent the Reapers to decimate the planets inhabited by humans. Tim-21 was, however, the key to this conflict by tapping, with his humanity too human even for a synthetic, all the actors, but not succeeding, while armed with a tender dialectic ecumenical among the living beings, to avoid that the universe was invested by an event cataclismatico.

From here starts Ascender Vol. 1 – The Galaxy is Infested, or a world without robots.

Mila is a curious little girl, look up to the sky, and is sure that there is nothing beyond his world. The Mother, however, dominates with an iron fist Sampson and all the other planets with the help of his magic which allows you to locate any form of technology that has become forbidden.

When we discover who is the father of Mila, and especially when from the sky will fall an old friend of his, you innesteranno a series of events that will force the father and daughter to escape to the sea in search of a (star)ship that will get them away from the planet.

In the meantime, the mother has to deal with the Rebels, tired of his tyranny and ever more reckless in their actions: who leads them? and why?

Places, names, links... a sense of constant familiarity pervades Ascender Vol. 1 – The Galaxy Haunted for those who have read Descender, and the epic story of tiny Tim-21 yet Jeff Lemire succeeds in the earliest pages in the not easy feat of making autonomous this new series, also thanks to a really explosive.

All the experience and skill of the canadian author's philosophy is based in a background in which the reader can immediately decipher points of reference, immediate – and the inevitable references to the “classics of the genre” – and to identify himself with a new young protagonist, tender and resolute.

This first volume also affects the pace immediately tightened that Lemire decided to give the story not getting lost in useless digressions, preferring instead to develop several narrative strands – as already done for Descender – for each character and making them only to converge in a way that was “occasional,” thus giving a framework for heterogeneous and large in a narrative that is always attentive to world-building.

The opposition of magic/technology, which is fundamental in the premises of the series, goes beyond the simple dualism of opposites sublimandosi in the small protagonist Thousand that vent to that feeling of nostalgia as well as intended by Lévi-Strauss or that yearning for a lost world of co-existence and co-existence that is intertwined with the more adolescent thrust to the discovery.

Technology and magic, then as the conflict and flipping between hot and cold or between a company “mechanized” in which he would prevail in an organization is rigid and one in which the “imbalance” creates thrust manipulation of the external world and of internal equilibrium.

While Lemire is playing with these “primal instincts”, by Dustin Nguyen prepares a test giant.

The characteristic technique of the watercolor for the illustrator, it integrates seamlessly with the script of the canadian-american getting carried away in building a world in which nature is claiming back its space with green, ochre and brown clash with the black and purple of the sequences in analessi.

Despite having made this technique his peculiarities as an illustrator, Nguyen remains a storyteller with an enviable using the space in a more dynamic, alternating and then the verticality and the horizontality never in the way, nor rigid nor schematic and jumping in the panes wider and the splash-page double from the great impact.

Personally, Dustin Nguyen has always struck me the ability to use color in a way expressionist, but not to miss the stretch of the increase in the lines above all to the figures in which there is a particular attention to the cinesica.

As always, fine workmanship, the hardback packaged by BAO Publishing, which, while not presenting extra content, we find for the excellent translation and adaptation of Leonardo Favia and the equally excellent work on the lettering of Sara Bottaini.

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