Review - Fathom Volume 8 #1 (@AspenComics)

"History has a curious way of repeating itself."

There's some great mysteries under the sea. One of them usually tends to be an underwater kingdom seeking to wage war on the surface-dwellers as in Fathom Volume 8 #1 from Aspen Comics. The issue is written by Vince Hernandez, illustrated by Mauricio Campetella, colored by Mark Roslan and lettered by Peter Steigerwald.

Aspen Matthews must restore the balance between both humans and The Blue as once again Fathom's preeminent villain, Killian, has returned to reclaim what he believes belongs to himself and his people! The stakes have never been higher, as Aspen must risk the fate of both worlds in order to stop Fathom's most dangerous foe!

Hernandez is extremely familiar with Aspen as a character and her universe--a familiarity on display in the issue that lends itself to the story. That being said, considering the series is on its eight volume it's one that is certainly steeped in history and other events that have a direct impact on what's happening here. Hernandez does his best to keep things easy to follow and actually lays the foundation for an intriguing series, yet there are numerous footnotes referencing earlier volumes that might be a little intimidating for new readers. The characters all draw on their history and interactions to move the narrative forward in this issue and Hernandez jumps back and forth a bit to get things in place for the series going forward. The dialogue is very clear and easy to follow along with, delving into the politics of differing races well without being too complex.

Campetella's illustrative style is going to look familiar to fans of the series to this point as he illustrates the characters with black lines that clearly define the characters. It's a somewhat heavy approach that's echoed in the panel borders as well, providing a larger sense of visual continuity throughout the issue. Campetella doesn't do very much as far as facial expressions go, keeping things very simple in that regard. There's an abundance of darker shadows rendered on each of the characters as well that removes detail from their wardrobe. Roslan's colors are effective at conveying the difference between the two worlds, primarily in the sense that a bluish tint is pervasive throughout.

Fathom Volume 8 #1 is steeped in history and the events of the issue reflect that. Fathom is facing another challenge from the deep and that challenge will test her resolve in new ways. Hernandez has a good grasp of the character and infuses his knowledge into the character well. The artwork by Campetella is a good match for the tone of the book. Fathom Volume 8 #1 is worth checking out if you're already invested in the character and the story to this point.

Fathom Volume 8 #1 is available now.