Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Alex Konat
Colours by: Beth Sotelo
Letters by: Josh Reed
Published by: Aspen
The fourth volume of Aspen’s sea based series follows Aspen Matthews, daughter of both the black and blue underwater races, as she tries to get her life together on the surface.
(From now on, whenever I mention Aspen, it is in reference to the character, not the publisher)
This issue is a great jumping on point for new readers, all the key information is presented as we learn about Aspen’s heritage and how she was born of water but raised on land, while also discovering that there was a recent war between the land and the sea. This is my first real exposure to Fathom and I had no trouble following the story.
The issue begins with Aspen stopping some pirates involved in a hostage situation and this served as an excellent introduction to the character. Her personality and water controlling powers are both clearly expressed in an instantly engaging way.
The story then moved on to some of the interesting themes that are likely to permeate the rest of this volume. The tension between the humans and the two races from the sea looks interesting, as does their attempt to work together on mutual scientific research.
Also, the dialogue and Aspen’s internal monologue are both well written and entertaining; with Aspen’s monologue doubling up as useful character information. The comic also boasts a decent supporting cast in Dr Colin Woreth and student Judith Banyaski.
The art team does an excellent job too. The action sequences are cool and the quality of the art when water is involved is very good, (both underwater and water based powers) with crisp whites and blues and a good sense of depth and the power of the ocean.
This first issue does pretty much everything right, including an intriguing ending that makes me want to read the next issue.