Deep Beneath the Oceans….
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by Steven Cherecwich
“Fathom” by Michael Turner ($36.49 for the “definitive edition” from Amazon.com)
The overarching storyline of Fathom is one you’ve heard before. The bad guy, Killian, wants to take over the world and only one person can stop him. There are two twists to this story, though, that go above and beyond your typical “destroy the world” plot line.
The first twist is that our hero of the story is a girl named Aspen who spends much of her time confused and unsure of where she is – but she has a dormant ability to control the water around her. The second twist is that Killian is the leader of a highly evolved race of water-beings, which have hidden under the oceans surface for more than 4,000 years. (As evidenced by a spy satellite recovered by the US Navy.)
Sounds a bit like something from “Weird Tales”, as the plot twists continue to be thrown at the reader. The eye candy, however, makes up for the story line. With both the story and pencils attributed to Michael Turner, it took five colorists to keep up with him…but what a job they did! The artwork is visceral, and unlike any other comic I’ve seen in a long time. The blues and greens evoke the feeling of water and depth in virtually every single panel.
My biggest issues with…well…the issues, are again two points. The first is that this was originally sold as a 9 issue comic book, rather than a true novel. It should be noted the first issue hit the stands in 1998 by Top Cow Productions, and during that time period many comics were sold in a weekly format. (After all, why sell a book for $19.95, when you can sell nine issues at $2.50 each for $22.50?)
While few people may have heard about Fathom, there has been much talk among the faithful. It begins with the passing of Michael Turner last summer to bone cancer, and ends with the creation of the movie version of the comic. While the movie has been passed from studio to studio as many comics have, it currently resides with Fox Atomic. Our hero Aspen is purported to be played by Megan Fox, whom you might recognize from the Transformers movie series. The movie, according to IMDB.com, is scheduled for 2011, but little information is available.
Unlike some other graphic novels, this one attained such a following for a while that two more storylines were printed, a spinoff, and since it’s a water-based story, they naturally have their own swimsuit issues.
While the storyline itself has multiple twists and offshoots which seem to be left hanging at the end of the story arc, the amazing coloring and overall conceptual aspect of the story make this graphic novel worthy of whiling away a cold Saturday afternoon, sitting on a couch with a cup of cocoa and a blanket wrapped around you. The book may not encourage deep thoughts, or change your perspective on the world, but it is fun. After all, isn’t that why we read these in the first place?
Some war-time violence, bodies strewn around, and a couple naughty words give this book my rating of “PG-13”.
IMDB: Megan Fox :
Wiki Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fathom_(comics)