Okay so there are two Fathom series running right now: one in the past and one in the present. This is the present series after Aspen has already learned that she’s not just from the underwater society, but she’s half black and half blue (their terms not mine). I missed an issue of this book somewhere down the line, but really it didn’t seem to matter since the book recaps everything you need to know through convincing dialog and narrative. The story opens with a US submarine crew thinking they’re under attack as Aspen speeds past them in her water form. It’s a very campy action opening, but something about it works for the issue. Through some dialog chunks we find out that Aspen is on her way to stop the President from being killed by some rouge water dwellers. Everyone back on the water station is freaking out and calling anyone they can in order to warn them of Aspen’s approach, but nothing seems to be working for them.
As Aspen arrives to the UN meeting that’s taking place she’s greeted by gun fire and a very small window of warning. She isn’t injured by the bullets in her water form, but she comments that she feels each one and that it isn’t pleasant. Aspen’s plan is to make a scene to prevent the bad fish from go through with their mission. Fortunately, they’re plans have already been soured by the fact that Vice President is filling in for the President. After the commotion from Aspen the bad fish make their move to kill the VP, but she’s just in time to stop them.
The pacing for this book is very tight and fast paced. It’s literally, bam on to the next one, bam on to the next one and that’s just what this series needs. If you’re stuck underwater the entire time it’s not very interesting, but if you’re dealing with it this way gives the book a feeling usually associate with water and that’s speed, it works. Scott Lobdell does a good job of keeping it moving and in a way that makes sense. You’re not hanging out wondering what’s next because you don’t have time to.
I’m glad that Aspen has abandoned this theory that every artist to work on Fathom must attempt to draw like Michael Turner. Case in point Alex Konat who’s style may take some cues from Turner, but he brings his own approach and it works. His style has everyone looking a lot more realistic, but with the bright colors it still has that carefree feel that Aspen’s always had.
This series has felt more like a series of one shot that just happen to fit together, which is kind of cool. It makes it easy to jump on and off the series and not feel like you’ve missed anything vital as was the case with me and this issue. Sure it’s issue two, but I was still able to follow along with the story and enjoy it. I actually enjoyed it a lot and that’s saying a lot for not having read the previous issue. Lobdell may have jumped ship to more corporate seas, but his work at Aspen has been top-notch and well worth reading.
Publisher: Aspen Comics