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Ascender #8 Review

3 min read
This is getting more and more complicated

The trap is sprung.

Creative Staff:
Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen
Letterer: Steve Wands

What They Say:
“THE DEAD SEA,” Part Three The Vamps may rule this strange new universe but that won’t save them from Kanto, The Blood Scrapper—the most badass vampire hunter in the galaxy!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With the series moving between several stories for most of its issues, this one focuses almost completely on one and it definitely works for the better for it. Jeff Lemire is juggling a lot of story points here in a good way even though I don’t feel like I have a full grasp on the makeup of the galaxy at this point in time. But the little bits we get here and there definitely help to put it all together. Dustin Nguyen works in some of the darker material this time around on Sampson so that it’s gloomy and grey but it makes you realize how neat it all is when you pull back into the other story out on the open sea and things are more colorful, almost like a shock.

Getting a handle on how some of the vampires view things while on Sampson is interesting enough since there’s basically job security and other issues related to the low-pressure of this world compared to some of the more important worlds. It’s an amusing blue-collar moment from some of them before it turns dark as one of them wanders off to realize himself only to end up dead. Revealing that it’s Andy and his little group is pretty striking, but the reality of his situation is that it’s not good for him. He’s there to get Effie on his side to help him in getting back to Mila and protecting her, but the truth is that Effie is very far gone even as a half-breed vampire. Her attack on Andy is pretty brutal but he’s able to make some inroads in reaching the real her through it all, which is a bit heartbreaking considering her past. But even this can’t be a win simply because one of the Mothers is there.

She’s able to set things in a pretty grim way here in that taking a lot of his memories, Mother is able to utilize him to find Mila – though the reality is that they need just a drop of blood to do that. The torment all around is good, especially as Mother is able to get Effie to say clearly where her allegiances lie. Sadly for Mother, however, the forces on Mata have made their move and she’s feeling that impact with so many dead of her particular kind, causing her to flee back there. That’s her basically falling into their trap but with the belief that she’s more powerful than others, it’s no surprise. There’s a good bit of emotion to it as she arrives on the scene and it plays out with what she discovers there but the transformational aspect of it is pretty worrying.

In Summary:
The book does give us a little time with Telsa and Helga as they talk about Mila some and the difference in opinion between the two adults in how this is all going to unfold. The bulk of it focuses on events on Sampson, however, and that works to its advantage. It takes a few pages to get into groove but once it does it moves forward well, showing how powerless Andy is and how difficult Effie is to reach. I’m definitely curious to see how it comes together next from here considering what happens on Mata, but that feels like the start of its own adventure. Much like what Mila is on, which is getting more and more complicated itself.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: January 8th, 2020
MSRP: $3.99

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