Comics Review – FATHOM: THE ELITE SAGA Vol. 4 by Aspen Comics

We’re a little late with this comics review for Fathom, but Comic-Con…  Anyway, family drama is at the core of the conclusion of Fathom: The Elite Saga. Killian, the Elite Commander has finally seen the error of his ways when his wife Anya and their child, Anika, decide to risk the outside world rather than face life under his corrupting influence.

Fleeing to the surface world, she is greeted with your standard shoot first, ask corpses questions later mentality from the military and is rescued in the nick of time by Aspen.

Issue # 4 of 5 picks up right where #3 left off, with a somewhat less than dead Kiani and reluctant Aspen facing off against a group of silent mercenaries armed with garottes who have just kidnapped Anya’s baby, hired by none other than: No wait, no spoilers here!  Suffice to say that it is somebody who has a MAJOR bone to pick with both of the new teammates.

Personally, I love the seething banter and sarcasm between Aspen and Kiani.  Heck, if I had been resurrected and forced to team up with the very person who had offed me, I’d have issues out the wazoo too.  In this, Kiani is the model of restraint, willing to put aside her hatred of all things surface for the sake of her mother and baby sister… For now.  Aspen has been put through the ringer too, with her boyfriend troubles and newfound “celeb” status.

Things come to a head when they crash the mercenaries’ bosses self-indulgent monologue (a staple of every villain) and we get a little insight on why he needs Killian’s child.  Here’s a clue: she completes him.

We break off from the fighting briefly to see Killian reflecting on his conversation with Queen Kira who despite being attacked asks him a simple question that stops him dead in his tracks. He goes over this possibility with his advisor Alcer, and concludes that of all he has done, it is his family that always pays the ultimate price.  Is Killian going soft?  That’s unlikely.  He is simply beginning to fully understand the cost of war and blind hatred.

I would like to see if he can reach his daughter Kiani and get her to understand that her hatred of humanity is not the answer to her pain.  However, based on the mutual, if grudging, respect between Aspen and herself, I foresee that she may find that out by wholly different means. Who knows, the two may become friends… Yeah, right.

The art by V. Ken Marion in this arc throws me back to the days of when Fathom was still under the Image Comics banner, except now he seems less concerned with showing off ridiculously flexible women in thongs and bikini tops.  I’m loving the water effects and colours, although I find that there isn’t enough variation amongst the body types. Everybody seems to go to Planet Fitness. The barrier reef armor (or lack thereof) on both the men and women is a little distracting, but it doesn’t get in the way of the story too much. After all, most of the time is spent underwater, so there’s that.

This reviewer is anxious to see how the Elite Saga concludes, with this being the 15 year anniversary of Michael Turner’s creation. That’s it for this week’s comics review of another great Aspen Comics title.  Now, I’m off to the beach and find a Blue to take on a date. See you next time!