Monday, January 30, 2012

Fathom: Blue Descent #4

One of the nice perks of writing over a thousand comic book reviews is that you occasionally receive previews of new comics.

It's fun to see comics I don't ordinarily get to read, although sometimes it can be difficult to sort out the story when you're jumping in late in the game.

That's the challenge with Michael Turner's Fathom: Blue Descent. I read the first few issues of the original Fathom series some years back, but I haven't followed the series since.

So did this issue bring me up to speed? Give me enough info to follow along? Create a compelling adventure?

The answer to the first two is "yes." For the third, it's a "mostly yes."

The story by David Schwartz is an origin story for the undersea superhero Fathom. It tells about the two lost races that live under the sea: the Blue and the Black.

Both are at war with each other, and the members of the Blue are even fighting each other. The parents of Fathom must make the ultimate sacrifice to protect her from the forces in both camps which hope to exploit her secret abilities.

The only weak point for the story is the weight of all the exposition it must labor under, but that's because it has a lot of information to convey.

The art is by Alex Sanchez and Peter Steigerwald, and it's quite good, with some nice emotional moments and some over-the-top action sequences. There are a few small problems with layouts that are a bit confusing, but some of that may be my own lack of familiarity with the locations.

I can't really recommend starting with this issue, as I did - you're showing up for the final reel here. But in a collection it should provide a clear origin for the title character and some background info on her greatest opponents.

Grade: B


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