The Ascendant


A story about superheroes – as heroes, as people, and as friends. A tale of loss, struggle, and the realization of what is important.



The Ascendant is a story about superheroes, but more importantly, it is a story about the people behind those superheroes. Drawing its inspiration from classic comic stories like What Ever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? and Astro City, The Ascendant is both an homage to our favorite caped heroes and a mediation on what it means when our relationships with them change.

The Ascendant is the story of the titular superhero, a generational figure who passes the mantle down to his sidekicks and successors. At the opening of our story the original Ascendant, Grant Barnes, is suffering from long term dementia and is testing the limits of the retirement home care he receives. The second, also retired Ascendant, Ted Sellers, is tormented by the feeling of powerlessness he experiences in being unable to help his mentor and hero. Meanwhile, difficulties are emerging in his relationship with his former sidekick, and current Ascendant, Jaime Garcia.

This is not an entirely doleful tale, though. It features happiness and heroism, too, and explores how our relationships with our mentors change over time. It reflects on the way that we cope with challenges to the people we most idolize, and the way that age and infirmity can affect the way we see the world. The story seeks to contrast the warm relationships between the generations of this hero with the way that the advance of time produces new challenges. Perhaps most importantly it is an homage to the great heroes of our favorite comic books, highlighting their beauty in an age of cynicism.