Review - Fathom: The Elite Saga #1

"Kiani--the darkness has arrived."

The depths of the ocean are typically devoid of all light. Amidst the intense darkness there is a blue, a blue that breeds warriors and regalness. Against that backdrop is when the events of Fathom: The Elite Saga #1 from Aspen take place.

The issue is written by Vince Hernandez, illustrated by V. Ken Marion, inked by Mark Roslan, colored by Jordi Escuin Llorach, Kyle Ritter and Peter Steigerwald and lettered by Josh Reed.

Anya feels that her newborn child Anika would fare better with some time away from the father Killian. She's committed to doing whatever it takes, even invoking Kiani. Thing about it is that there seems to be more to Anika than meets the eye (and not in a Transformers way). Meanwhile, Aspen's brief respite from action is looking to be shortened when she's called to deal with the Blue.

Hernandez knows the Fathom universe at this point, having written many of the past series. There's a familiarity there with the characters that's allowed him to flesh out the universe. Fathom: The Elite Saga #1 is a slight departure in that it introduces a few new characters, breathing new life into the Fathom universe. Kiani and Aspen have been pitched as the cornerstones of it and are truly powerful, but there appears to be something in Anika that could put her on equal footing. Introducing such a character offers a new perspective on familiar territory, poising the series to be something fascinating.

Marion's art is very detailed. Some of the facial expressions are a little rough, with the characters demonstrating various degrees of emotion. Kiani is illustrated with sufficient foreboding, while Aspen is shown on a rare off day. There's a good variety of panel layouts, with jagged shapes cutting in and out, insets and some full-pagers that are good looking. There's a new threat lurking in the depths and the art team does a solid job depicting it.

Fathom: The Elite Saga #1 could be an interesting series. It breathes new life into a known property and pitches someone who can potentially go up against Aspen and Kiani. Where the series goes is anyone's guess, but considering this is Aspen's 10th anniversary, there could be really good things in store. If you're familiar with the Fathom universe, the book is a no-brainer pick-up, but even if you've never met Aspen Matthews, now's a great time to get to know her.

Fathom: The Elite Saga #1 is in stores now with interiors below.