Reviews

Review – Fathom #4 (Aspen Comics)

Fathom Volume 7 #4 Cover by Siya Oum A
Fathom Volume 7 #4 Cover by Siya Oum A
Fathom #4
  • Writing - 6/10
    6/10
  • Art - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Overall - 6.2/10
    6.2/10
6.2/10

Summary

Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Siya Oum
Colorist: Peter Steigerwald, Jesse Heagy pg 4-6 and 11-14
Letterer: Zen
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Aspen Comics
Release: October 17, 2018

Fathom’s brother has been captured by the Russians and Calloway may have just signed his death warrant!

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Journey to the Deep in Fathom #4

 

Fathom is celebrating 20 years since being published in 1998. Fathom #4 continues the story as Aspen (the main character) has escaped her capture with Killian and has made some uneasy allies against Gideon under the sea. While on land her brother Finn remains captured by the Russians. They want to see if they can duplicate his powers, no matter what the cost. Meanwhile, Calloway returns a vital piece of information he recovered in the last issue to the N.S.A. and he may have just signed Finn’s death warrant!

Writing

Fathom #4 Variant Cover by Paolo Pantalena
Fathom Volume 7 #4 Variant Cover by Paolo Pantalena

So, Fathom #4 is my first Fathom book. I have a habit of jumping onto titles right in the middle of a run and I have done it again with Fathom #4. I know next to nothing about Fathom besides pictures I saw in Wizard magazine as a kid (hey kids Wizard). What I am saying is all I know is that Fathom somehow involved a scantily clad lady and something with water. I am all new territory with Fathom #4 and it wasn’t bad.

Ron Marz has a lot going on in Fathom #4 and it is a fast-paced read. It felt very short, as we are following three different story plots that will converge back together at some point. So, basically Fathom #4 splits time between Aspen escaping from “The Blue” and forming an alliance with Killian. They plan on how they will attack Gideon, Calloway and his dealings with the N.S.A and Finn being captured by the Russians. I do wish it would have slowed down just a little bit in the middle to get a little more detail with some situations.

The characters are all well laid out by Marz and each of them gets enough time in the book to progress the story into the next issue. Marz is a veteran of the industry, so he knows what he is doing. I just wish this slowed down just a little bit to get a little more in depth with all the different characters in the issue. 

Art

I guess from my previous limited knowledge of Fathom I was expecting the same 90’s style of art. Well, Siya Oum has definitely toned down the over the top “sexualized” version of the main character Aspen. You can see by example as this issue contains part of the original run at the end. I know some of the variant covers seem like I am lying! Like most underwater themed stories every character is very scantily clothed except for random pieces of armor. The armor on Aspen actually looks pretty cool. I dig Oum’s style as well. The light inks and sketchy style fits well and adds a nice rough edge to Fathom #4. The coloring looks good as well; Peter Steigerwald and Jesse Heagy catch the underwater vibe with some nice blue textures.

There is a little lack of details in Fathom #4 that holds it back. The characters faces do not always look the greatest. A lot of the expressions feel a little off or fall flat on the page. Some of the panel structure or layouts could have been a little better as well. I would have liked to see some different angles in the fight scenes to make them more dramatic and some of the angles make the weapons look oddly shaped. 

Conclusion

I wasn’t expecting much when hopping onto Fathom #4 but was surprised that it was a pretty solid comic book. It is not the greatest thing I have ever read but it was not terrible either. It is a little harder to judge just because I jumped in right in the middle of a story. So, I am not taking any of that into account with my review. I liked Oum’s art style for the most part, maybe a little more details and structured better but in general, I liked the more sketchy style and designs for the characters. Fathom #4 actually makes me want to go back and read the other previous issues, so it has gotten me a little interested! 


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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