This issue continues the newest arc of this story titled Ascension I. In the previous issue, Rowan and her new partner, Nicky, hook up after Rowan has a run-in with a spirit which disorients and upsets her. Rowan is under attack but hasn’t gained the wherewithal to figure from where and to what end. Rucka and Scott do a nice job continuing the dangerous feel of the world while expanding the connections between characters like the story developing between Rowan and Nicky.
Meanwhile, Alex continues gathering evidence narrowing her scope on the danger that surrounds Rowan. She fights the same spirit that argued with Rowan in the previous issue, in the form of an evil girl. The exchange increases the mystique of the story and the dark magic present in this tightly-knit world.
Finally, Lauren, The Witch Hunter, is falling for Alex – a witch. This story twist builds on the danger already introduced in the previous book. He is alarmed by the unresponsiveness of his partner, Anne Marie, who was attacked by someone she recognized. It will be interesting to see how this arc unfolds.
The art is strong in this issue. I especially love the shading and the almost antique visual aesthetic created by the mostly black and white pallet. Nicola Scott excels while drawing intimate spaces, bedrooms, and the human body. If I have a critique, it’s that the character’s faces are not always consistently drawn. However, the uniqueness of each character, their quirky deficiencies, makes them feel real and alive.
This is an intriguing story because it leans on strong character development in Rowan and Alex to build on the horror and mysticism genre. If you love spiritualism, horror, and witchcraft stories you will love this. If I had a critique it’s in the pacing. The story does not advance much from issue to issue. However, what is presented is consistent with previous parts of the story and it advances the reader’s investment in the characters. Overall 9/10