I really like the art of Michael Turner and read a lot of his work and the rest of the Aspen Studios crew during the early 2000s. Part of it was because Turner and the rest of his crew were just so friendly and great to talk with at comic book conventions.
When Michael passed away in 2008, I kind of lost track of what the company was publishing. This year is the publisher’s fifteenth anniversary, so Worlds of Aspen 2013: Free Comic Book Day is an opportunity for them to show off the new Fathom series. Aspen Matthews is back, taking a reporter on a journey under the sea (fortunately without Flounder or Sebastian). Along the way, Aspen recaps all of the previous plot-lines and characters, only to find out that something bad has happened to her longtime nemesis Killian. This pretty much serves as a jump-on point for the next volume of the series.
On the art side, it has really well rendered backgrounds and features some of the best coloring you would see in modern comics. Plus for some reason, every woman is wearing a bikini and the men are overly muscled and scantily clad as well. It’s everything you would expect from an Aspen book.
The rest of the issue shares some information about the other new Aspen series that are coming out this year, all of which feature a lead female character. This approach is very interesting to me, as it seems like a good way to expand their audience to more women. But the fact that these characters are drawn like pin-up models makes me wonder if that will be a turn off women from wanting to read these.
I might give these a try, but the only thing I’m positive is picking up the Fathom series once its in a collected version. They’re much more satisfying to read in a single volume.