Review - Fathom Vol. 4 #4

Aspen Matthews can't really seem to catch a break, despite being in her element underwater. People wouldn't be interested in reading about Aspen without conflict though, so conflict it is! And Fathom Vol. 4 #4 is rife with conflict.

The title is written by Scott Lobdell and illustrated by Alex Konat (colors by Beth Sotelo).

Aspen is faced with a blast from the past in this issue. Without spoiling it too much, let's just say it's a character that Aspen thought was dead and has actually come back with a vengeance. That's really about it for the issue.

If there's ever been a "remind them who this person is so the next issue makes sense" this was that issue. The bulk of it is Aspen monologuing before meeting the mystery character in the Church of the Eternal Depths. The Church has aligned itself with the Japanese government in an effort to improve their position in the science world.

Lobdell has a feel for Aspen, tapping into her self-doubt as a means of setting the reader up. Aspen knows her history and isn't scared of it. She expresses remorse when forced to combat humans underwater.

Konat's art is familiar territory as well, which isn't bad. The pencils are accented well by Sotelo's colors, providing more emotion for the characters that isn't really conveyed by the dialogue.

The book comes together very well, but again, really just serves as a setup issue. It's a lot of Aspen's history recapped for the reader's sake, including the gap in time that the returning character. Fans of Aspen will definitely want to check this issue out and new readers can use this as a jumping on point as well.

Fathom Vol. 4 #4 hits stores February 1 with interiors below.