Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Review - All New Fathom Volume 6 #1 (@AspenComics)


"So you got punched in the face by God?"

When you're tasked with being a custodian for a culture, there can be a lot of pressure. Fortunately for Aspen Mathews, she's dealt with that pressure before on multiple occasions. All of that pressure has no doubt prepared her for her latest conflict in All New Fathom Volume 6 #1 from Aspen Comics. The issue is written by Blake Northcott, illustrated by Marco Renna, inked by Mark Roslan, colored by John Starr and lettered by Zen.

Now, the preeminent heroine must navigate the treacherous divide between the humans and her ancestral people of The Blue—as well as the surprises in store for both races in this all-new FATHOM landscape where anything is possible!

As a character, Aspen Mathews has always had to contend with the responsibility of being a bridge between two worlds and Northcott doesn't shy away from that in All New Fathom Volume 6 #1. Her take on Aspen is more of a modern, millennial one that emphasizes her youthfulness--despite her storied history as a champion of the two worlds. Northcott does a great job of parlaying that personality into a re-introduction of sorts for the character, telling the story through Aspen retelling the story to a friend. There's also general social media trends worked in as well that Northcott leans on to emphasize a powerful subtext about perception being reality. The overall plot isn't exactly new in terms of the character, but Northcott does use it effectively as a starting point for a larger, more overarching plot.

Renna's illustrations match Northcott's more youthful take on the character. Aspen is rendered as vibrant and full of vigor which helps support the notion that she's capable of defending people on land from threats in the ocean and vice versa. Renna offers a stark, visual contrast in her opponent throughout the issue, presenting him as an older being stuck in a different era of thinking. The sharp linework keeps the appearance in line with other entries in the Fathom comic series and Renna doesn't oversexualize the character gratuitously. The inks by Roslan and colors by Starr are bright and vivid, offering a great visual difference in the locales the fight travels to.

All New Fathom Volume 6 #1 is something of a reboot for a property that's been around for quite some time. Aspen Mathews isn't exactly squaring off a challenge she hasn't encountered before, but the encounter will create an interesting plotline as the series progresses. Northcott's take on the character emphasizes a youthful exuberance that could go a long way to revitalizing the character. Renna's illustrations are equally as buoyant, focusing on sharp lines to give the characters standing against the backdrops. All New Fathom Volume 6 #1 is a solid first issue that offers a fresh take on a familiar character.

All New Fathom Volume 6 #1 is available February 8.

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