Ascension was a comic book series created by David Finch and Matt "Batt" Banning and published by Top Cow. It ran for 22 issues, from October 1997 to March 2000, and was then canceled due to low sales. In addition, there was also an additional #0 bonus issue and a #1/2 Wizard preview.
Shortly after the start of the series, Batt left the title due to creative differences with Finch. Finch wrote and penciled the first half of the series. David Quinn wrote most of the last half, starting with issue #13 (May 1999); most of the last half was penciled by Brian Ching, though there were many issues penciled by fill-in artists.
The basic premise of the comic book series was that the 1986 Chernobyl disaster opened a rift in reality that allowed two humanoid alien races, the Mineans and Dayaks, to enter our world. The two races are at war, and it is hinted throughout the series that they have a close genetic relationship and close cultural ties with humanity, suggesting a mutual origin of some sort, though the series ended before the exact nature of that relationship could be made clear.
The two primary protagonists, Andromeda Weaver, an ambitious geneticist, and Lucien Barnes, a hardened mercenary soldier, are caught up in this conflict. Both are transformed by mystical pages of the Mineans and Dayaks: Andromeda becomes a blue-skinned empath, and Lucien grows wings and gains super-strength and durability, becoming gargoyle-like. The protagonists befriend Petra, the heir to the Minean throne. The protagonists are usually allied to the generally peaceable Mineans and are usually enemies of the aggressive Dayaks.
There were four major story arcs in the series:
- #1-6 (October 1997-May 1998): Andromeda and Lucien battle Voivodul, the evil Dayak sorcerer-god.
- #7-12 (July 1998-April 1999): Andromeda and Lucien battle the chief disciple of Voivodul, Grigorieff, a human who is creating mutant beast-like Dayaks. This was a Witchblade crossover, with the arc featuring Witchblade villains such as Kenneth Irons and Gavin Taylor.
- #13-19 (May–October 1999): Andromeda and Lucien battle Rowina, Petra's evil mother.
- #20-22 (November 1999-March 2000): Andromeda and Lucien battle General Caladon or Lord Shroud, an undead servant of Voivodul, and Shroud's army of orc undead.
The title was abruptly canceled, and the last issue ends with the capture of Andromeda and Lucien by the orcs and without any real resolution to the plot.