I’ll admit this was my first issue of Blue Descent and really I have no idea where it falls in the Fathom timeline. I did find the issue to be very interesting as it revealed the origin of the water species which is divided in two groups: The Black and the Blue. Granted that’s not very unique titling in and of itself, but it refers to the water of the world. The Black hails from the dark seas and is a much more aggressive people that are looking to eliminate Humans from the earth and return the world to days of yester. The Blue are of course the peaceful race that believe in cohabitation with the Human race and would like to slowly integrate the two worlds. The story begins with a group of the Blues invading the inner chamber of the Blacks, they’re there to rescue Aspen’s mother from the Black King. They find her, but stop to listen as the Black King reveals his plan, his nature and that he is Aspen’s true father as the man who believed he was her father listens on. The Black King is just like anyone trying to take over the world, nothing he’s saying sounds crazy to him, but everyone else shakes they’re head “no.” The King takes an even darker step towards crazy when he pretty much tells Aspen’s mother that he’ll rape her to produce another offspring like Aspen. It’s a bit shocking to read something like that in a book from Aspen Comics, but lately they’ve been more and more mature with their titles. After hearing enough, Loma, Aspen’s sort of real father opens fire on the Black King to save his wife and a battle breaks out with the resolution leading into the next issue.
This story sits in this weird mid-section. It’s not great nor is it bad. It’s really what any comic should be and that’s entertaining. The storytelling was the greatest, but it gets the job done. Even the long winded exposition from the Black King isn’t bad and is even plausible as he’s reuniting with a woman he possibly loved in the past. The only issue I had with the story was that it just didn’t grab me enough. I really think it was teetering on the edge of being great and granted if I was following Fathom closer, this issue may have changed everything for me as a fan, but it didn't for me. As it stands I enjoyed it, but I don’t know if it made me a solid reader of the series.
The art is actually the most striking part of the issue as it didn’t initially look like a Fathom title. There’s a ton of detail on the pencils and it really gives the characters lifelike qualities. Alex Sanchez is the lead artist with finishes from Peter Steigerwald and John Starr. The three artists work really well together and I couldn’t even tell there were three artists on the title until turning back to the front page.
In general if you’re a Fathom fan then this issue is actually a pretty big deal as it reveals a big chunk of history in Aspen’s life. As a newcomer to the series and being vaguely familiar with the title, I still really enjoyed it. I couldn’t recommend it to new readers, but I would definitely say to try the series from the beginning as it lays out a lot of the overall plot to the title and ties up some loose ends.
Score – 3/5
Writer: David Schwartz
Artist: Alex Sanchez
Publisher: Aspen Comics