Created by Michael Turner
Plot by David Wohl and Frank Mastromauro
Script by David Wohl
Pencils by Alex Konat
Digital Inks by Mark Roslan
Color by Beth Sotelo
Lettering by Josh Reed
Covers by (A) Alex Konat & John Starr, (B) Paul Renaud, (C) J. Scott Campbell, (D) Alex Konat & Peter Steigerwald
Release Date: August 28, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
The first thing I think of when I hear the name Michael Turner is fantastic artwork. And even now, five years after the loss of this great comic artist, his legacy lives on in Fathom #2. This is the fifth volume of the series and it has continued to be a beautiful tribute to the founder of Aspen Comics. I have no doubt he would be just as pleased with this as I was.
This issue starts off with a brief look at a very remote city that is populated by a race known as the Blue. Their leader, a terrifyingly beautiful woman, has been grooming a young girl as a weapon of enormous power by enhancing her already superior genetics. Half a world away, our protagonist, Aspen Matthews, has engaged in an undersea battle with half a dozen water-breathing combatants who seem hell bent on killing her. Using her innate powers of water manipulation, she attempts to disperse their attack. Unknown to Aspen, however, her opponents also have a few tricks up their sleeves, metaphorically speaking that is.
Changing form from solid to liquid, she narrowly escapes injury. Unfortunately, the aquatic warriors also flee the scene, leaving her to wonder how they disappeared so quickly. Realizing she has seen their kind before, Aspen makes her way to the submerged city of Muria, the capitol city of the Blue. Finding her access restricted, she is vouched for by Killian, a leader amongst the Blue and a former acquaintance of hers. We are left hanging at this point, wondering what might happen next.
This story built quickly on the debut issue of this series. Having established that catastrophic changes have occurred in remote areas of the ocean, we are given to understand that our heroine is the most capable one to deal with these anomalies. Establishing a few facts that occurred in Aspen’s past without revealing too much too quickly is essential in creating a working understanding for the reader. References to events are notated and just enough information is given to keep the plot going at a steady pace. While sometimes it can be difficult for new readers to jump into a long established series, it is accomplished quite smoothly here. This is a definite testimony to the skills of wordsmiths Mark Wohl and Frank Mastromauro.
But I must say, what really stands out in this comic is the beautiful art. It is something that must be seen to be believed. With Alex Konat on pencils, the illustrations are both gorgeous and ethereal. Such artistic genius could not be accomplished without the help of Mark Roslan and Beth Sotelo, on inks and colors respectively. Each panel is like a miniature masterpiece of comic book craftsmanship. I think what truly brings the underwater pieces to life is the perfect fading of colors. The transitions from dark to light seem to take on a depth that few comics have ever attained, it positively conveys the vastness of the ocean and the mysteries therein.
I cannot say enough good things about this series. I have been reading it on and off since it first hit the scene in the late nineties. The lineups have changed but the dedication to creating a great character has not. I hope you find yourself able to grab this one (and the first issue, too). It’s a great time to jump on if you are unfamiliar or even if you haven’t consistently been reading the different volumes over the years. Don’t hesitate, it’s bound to sell out fast!