Comico The Comic Company (November, 1992)
“Genie In A Bottle” part 1: “The Wrath Of Aeshma”
WRITER: David de Vries
PENCILER/LETTERER: Tim Eldred
INKER: Phil Boy
COLORIST: someone forgot to list one
COVER ART: Tony Akins (credit written on the cover but not given in the comic)
EDITOR: Jerry Liwanag
Fathom is transported by Aqua a thousand years in the past to rescue a man named Mustapha, who is under attack from a demon named Aeshma. She kicks his butt and she and Mustapha wash ashore on an island. There Aqua (whom Mustapha believes to be his goddess, Haurvatat) instructs him to gather the waters, which traps Fathom in a bottle since everybody thus far has assumed she’s a genie. This includes Aesham’s brother, the demon lord Apaosha, who wants her power for himself.
What they got right: The idea itself is pretty decent and if Fathom is the most popular of the Elementals as the inside cover suggests it’s past time that she got her own comic series. Comico’s superhero universe began in the 1980s with titles like Elementals and Justice Machine. There’s a nice profile of Fathom for readers unfamiliar with Elementals and the Elementals Universe. The story itself also tells us things about her in a way that doesn’t pull you out of the story with huge exposition, just what’s needed to understand the character, like she’s a Jew (she calls herself a “small j jew”) but must be Messianic because she’s listening to Christian music in the bath.
What they got wrong: The cover art is not very good. Why does Fathom look more like She-Hulk? Her whole thing is swimming and water-based powers, which defines her body type. She looks right in the comic but not on the cover. There are also a lot of unanswered questions that I assume will be followed up on in the story arc, like why these demons are after Mustapha and why Aqua is subjecting Fathom to this? Then there’s the fanservice of Fathom in the bath and Aqua’s design that’s not really needed but at least Aqua puts her in a swimsuit of some kind when she transports her back to 992 AD.
Recommendation: At this point I’ve decided that the Elementals Universe just isn’t to my taste from these few samples I’ve had the Elementals comic from a few weeks back, and that Strike Force Legacy special from awhile back) but they seem like good stories with decent art. This issue might be worth looking into and deciding for yourselves but I have no desire to go after any more issues. I’m not sure if I have any more beyond a swimsuit issue but I’ll review them if I stumble on them.