Sunday, March 06, 2005


Ascend by Keith Arem and Christopher Shy and Scott Cuthbertson. Published by Image Comics.

Well, this was, unfortunately, what I expected.
Heaven is fighting a war.
Human souls are 'Harvested' to feed their armies.
Three Angels are expelled from heaven for having stood against God on some level.
Sebastian falls in love with a human, Seraphine tries to live among humans, and Gideon gets a messiah (or Mashiach, as Arem prefers) complex and wants to fight his way back in and restore balance.

First, I do want to say that this book is GORGEOUS. Shy definitely can paint.
Unfortunately, beautiful art doesn't necessarily make for good sequential art storytelling.

Throughout the work, it's often difficult to tell who is speaking and to whom. That, alone, can be a fatal flaw.
To make matters worse, the dialog is often needlessly vague and repetitive.
The language in these sorts of works often is. The characters are, in fact, talking about Big Things that mortals cannot Comprehend.

The core problem is the Angels themselves. The fact of the matter is that they are neither admirable, nor complex.
That makes perfect sense.
Angels SHOULDN'T have these qualities.
They are tools.
But they don't generally make for interesting characters.
Maybe that's why I didn't care about the war they talk about, nor these 'Unborn' nor the 'Born' for that matter. The Angels didn't even inspire wonder in me.
If the fall from Grace had turned these Angels into something more mortal, that might have helped.
Sebastian and Seraphine's paths (which should have been much more interesting than Gideon's) are breezed over. Honestly, I barely noticed them. Perhaps in a longer series these could have been fleshed out more and really brought a depth to the work that it lacked.
And Gideon's, well, that's a story thousands of years old, and this adds nothing to that tradition.

Anyhow, I think the same story was told better in the Christopher Walken Prophecy movies (though I have not seen the 3rd).

That's it for today. I think I'll review The Goon next (volume 0 and volume 1).

Later, True Believers

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