All New Fathom (2017) #1 Review
By Ezekiel McAdams
Feb 8 2017
I first became aware of Fathom about ten years ago when Megan Fox rose to pop culture prominence with Transformers. Fox was linked and rumored for the lead role of Aspen Matthews in the live action adaptation of a comic series titled Fathom.
I‘m easily attracted to and enchanted to characters from the deep. It started as a young boy who longed to be Ariel to discovering characters such as Aquaman, Creature From The Black Lagoon to more recently DC’s Dolphin and Disney’s Moana. For me, there’s something intoxicating about the mysteries of the ocean deep and shamelessly attaching myself to any new character that fits that purview.
Fathom, was created by Michael Turner and originally debuted in Summer of 1998, under Top Cow Productions. The series went through various iterations including a hiatus when creator, Turner, took a leave of absence to battle cancer. A fight he ultimately lost.
It’s now 2017 and Fathom returns rebooted and under a new publisher. The aptly named, Aspen comics.
This new iteration is spearheaded by YA writer, Blake Northcott (The Arena Mode Saga). All New Fathom seems to continue the tradition of debut issues being a set up issue, where similar to television pilots, lays the foundation for exposition, character origins and world building.
Northcott’s prose and dialogue are light and snappy. Northcott seems to have a good grasp of the character of Aspen and allows her to breathe, be funny, all the while sprinkling in nuggets of exposition effortlessly. It’s akin to that college class where the prof gives you a manual first day as opposed to the light, fluffy Intro 101. Northcott brings levity to the world while also setting up conflict and future stakes with both the characters and the world.
The art by artist, Marco Renna is gorgeous. Renna is able to make the art sparkle and dazzle. The detail is incredible while the colors and inking by Mark Roslan (digital inks) and John Starr (colors) encapsulate those beautiful water color paintings that grab your attention upon first glance.
Both Northcott and Renna have created an impressive template for this world. The story and art mesmerize and are both page turning only to be teased and cut short with the familiar “to be continued” hook.
But if this first issue is any indication, Fathom has set the bar high for what’s in the store in it’s future.