All New Fathom #1 (Aspen)


Rating: 4/5 – Great restart to Aspen’s flagship series

I’ve read & enjoyed a lot of Aspen’s comics over the past few years but have primarily enjoyed their new offerings, not really getting into their flagship title Fathom (starring Aspen Matthews as the eponymous Fathom, for whom the company is named) or Soulfire, another character that’s been going on for a while.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t get in on the ground floor and didn’t want to jump into the middle, but I’ve just passed by all the #1s that go by every year or so in this era of “everything is a mini-series, so when is a #1 REALLY a #1?”.

Then Aspen came up with their 10 for 10 program.  10 new comics in 2013 for the company’s 10th anniversary, each #1 being offered to the fans for a paltry $1.  Heck, if Aspen is going to let me give this a try for a buck, I’ll meet them half-way and give the thing a read.  I’m glad I did.

David Wohl did a great job in this issue of both establishing a new storyline with a very interesting hook and also bringing me up to speed in the course of the issue on the status quo for the title.  I met Aspen Matthews, I learned she is a member of an aquatic race called “The Blue” that are known to the public at large.  I get shown (not told) a sample of her powers in action as part of the story.  I learn a bit about her world-view from both her interactions with officials and in a private meeting with a man who seems to want to enter into a business arrangement that would be very beneficial to him, but that Aspen is not too enthused about.  In the end, I think the bad guys introduced in the “hook” on the last page are know to long time fans, but I get the basic gist of the threat they represent and will be back for #2 to see what’s really up with them.  I have confidence that Wohl will clue me in as part of the story.

At the end of the issue I felt I had received a solid chunk of story, I was introduced to the key players, and I had all the information I needed to know to enjoy the story withing the pages of this comic.  This is something I often do not receive in a $3.99 1st issue from other publishers, I’m VERY please that Aspen gave me a story like this for a $1 entry fee.  They were successful, I will be back for #2, and that is (or should be) the mission of every #1 issue of a comic series.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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