Review - Fathom Volume 4 #1

It's been a while since Aspen Matthews has graced the water filled pages of a Fathom comic. Sure, there was the #0 issue for Fathom Volume 4 back in May, but the fans want the story to get into full swing. Fathom Volume 4 #1 is the first issue in the new volume that does just that, setting the table for a slew of new adventures for the buxom goddess of the sea.

The issue opens up primarily as a way of both reminding familiar readers who Aspen Matthews is while at the same time introducing her to new readers. She has the power to control and thrive in water as the offspring of two races- the Blue and the Black. Since her birth she's taken to helping humans where possible and flexing her brain when it comes to marine biology.

The latter ability provides a nice setup for the first issue, presenting her as a guest of Dr. Collin Woreth as a guest in his marine biology class. Her and Dr. Woreth have a professional relationship and the issue does point to the unease that some humans have with what is basically a mutant interacting with their own (apparently some of us are myopic like that).

The issue really gets down to business when the two of them and Judith Banyaski (Aspen's new assistant) pay a visit to a lab run by Major Drumm. The setup is a little played out, with Major Drumm playing the military watch over Dr. Clive Sorrentino doing somewhat unorthodox experiments with compounds familiar to Aspen. The issue ends with a fairly likewarm setup for the second issue, advertising a potentially big side effect of the research.

As with most first issues, Scott Lobdell hasn't really done a whole lot here. The issue sort of ignores new readers of Fathom by not really getting into her past, but that's not necessarily what this first issue should be doing anyway. This new volume is meant to be a jumping on point for the series and for that Lobdell has done a good job in properly showcasing Aspen's talents and her place as a protector. The pencils by Alek Konat have a superhero feel, partially such because of Beth Sotelo's colors. Josh Reed is on lettering and the lettering is clear and concise.

Fans of Fathom will no doubt pick this issue up to continue her saga. It's also a good jumping on point for new readers, giving them a glimpse of what Aspen faces and has been through without boring the reader with a recap of past events. It's a good read and hopefully business picks up in the second issue.

The issue should be in stores now with interiors below.