Review - Fathom Kiani #1

"I guess...I guess...I haven't decided yet."

Kiani needs no introduction to fans of Aspen Comics. To those who don't know her though, all you need to know is that she's immensely powerful and capable of a wide variety of carnage. How much she relies on the latter is put to the test in Fathom Kiani #1 from Aspen Comics. The issue is written by Vince Hernandez, illustrated by Giusuppe Cafaro, colored by Wes Hartman and lettered by Josh Reed.

Kiani has risen above the surface and seemingly disappeared amongst the large expanse of the human population. However, with a power inside her that is capable of changing (or destroying) the world¹s landscape, her presence can only remain hidden for so long. Needless to say, there are some after her who want her to use her power for their benefit, putting Kiani in a tough spot where her security is in danger.

Hernandez isn't really treading new ground in Fathom Kiani #1, primarily relying on the reader to already know about Kiani and her past. In fact, there are a few instances where the reader is pointed toward other Aspen books that flesh out some of the mythos. Kiani appears to be wanting to make a rather honest go of things in the meantime, but trouble seems to find her wherever she goes. Aspen Comics has another book called Trish Out of Water which shares a lot of similarities to Fathom Kiani #1 in terms of plot. The big difference between the two is that in Fathom Kiani #1, Kiani knows what she's capable of, whereas Trish doesn't.

Cafaro's art is pretty clean and slick. Characters are illustrated with bold, striking lines and facial expressions that feature a lot of focus on facial shadows. Kiani herself is illustrated very much with an anime sensibility, with spiked hair and impactful eyes. There's a great full-page panel of her that really captures her as a character since her inception, both physically and in terms of what she's had to go through. Hartman's art adds a feeling of sunset to the book, which is rather appropriate considering the heavy reliance on the ocean for the characters to be interesting. There are definitely some great and fresh panel layouts throughout the book as well, with Cafaro using insets to break up the pages.

Fathom Kiani #1 is comfortable territory for fans familiar with the series. For those who've never read books about Kiani before, this one may be a little daunting to pick up and get into. The first issue is setting things up to go off in a big way down the road and really test Kiani's recent resolve to take a break from all the fighting. Aspen is mentioned in passing and may be called upon to team up with Kiani against the potentially new threat, but as of now, Kiani is forced to contend with an awkward dinner. Fathom Kiani #1 has solid art and an okay story to start; hopefully, it's one that really starts to build up down the line.

Fathom Kiani #1 is in stores March 12 with interiors below.