Review - Fathom Vol. 4 #8

Assistants in the Aspen Universe have a tendency to be a lot more trouble than they're worth. And while Judith isn't quite an assistant in Fathom Vol. 4 #8, she does have that tendency to be a thorn in Aspen's side.

The eighth issue is written by David Wohl, with art by Alex Konat, colors by Beth Sotelo and letters by Josh Reed.

To Aspen Matthews, Nakamura is just another surface dweller who seeks to harness the power of the Blue for his own (likely nefarious) purposes. That harnessing involves infusing Judith the abilities of the Blue, an experiment that leads to less than the desired results. Those results involve lots of people learning why they shouldn't mess with things they don't completely understand.

This issue spent less time focused on Aspen and a lot more time looking at Judith. Judith was introduced as sort of the starry-eyed new recruit tasked with helping Aspen in her research, so watching her being transformed into something entirely different is rather interesting. She's a rather unassuming test subject, but she appears to have at least some of the chops necessary to be a worthy opponent for Aspen.

Konat's art looks particularly strong in this issue, effectively making Aspen out to be a truly powerful champion of the Blue. Judith has something of a Cortana thing going on and she's shown going back and forth between control and lack thereof. It's something that could have been a nightmare, but he handles it very well. The style is somewhat alluring and really hits home the stakes of Aspen's world.

Fathom Vol. 4 #8 is another issue where Aspen is faced with a potentially devastating opponent. Whether or not Judith can overcome her "treatment" remains to be seen, but knowing Aspen's world, it's likely the ending won't be entirely happy.

Fathom Vol. 4 #8 is in stores January 2 with interiors below.