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on 12 December 2001
First, I'll make clear what you get in this book - that's what I wanted to know. The ambiguous cover doesn't help, as it says 'Fathom, Featuring Tomb Raider', but has a picture of Witchblade's Sara Pezzini. Unfortunately, if you're expecting to see much of either guest you may be disappointed.
What you do get is the conclusion to the story that began with the previous book, 'Fathom 1: War Beneath the Waves'. You then get a second, shorter story, and just part one of a three-part Fathom/Witchblade/Tomb Raider crossover.
The conclusion of the original tale continues the tight scripting of the first book, although the more rugged art has darker overtones towards the end. Some of the biggest (and smallest) mysteries of the first book are left open though. Whilst this gives scope for later stories, coupled with the length of the first book it gives the impression the story was hurried along a little to its conclusion. Nevertheless, it is well worth the read.
The second tale is a little unusual given the nature of the first one, but then that's a tribute to the diversity of the writing. The main difference being the absence of the aquatic race of the previous story popping up to look all smug and menacing. A pleasant, and amusing diversion then.
Finally, the crossover story begins, and it looks to be a corker. Much of what's here is an introduction featuring Fathom's Aspen Matthews and Witchblade's Sara Pezzini, but the action does pick up; the Tomb Raider element however is limited to just a few frames of Lara Croft. Unfortunately (news from the Net now) at the time of publishing, the author had not drawn the remaining episodes owing to an extended spell in hospital... I'm not in favour of serialisation between 'collected' books, but under the circumstances I'd rather have this one episode than none at all.
The artwork is as glorious as before, although Michael Turner goes a little easier on the sunsets of the first book, and instead shows some pieces conveying a truly awesome sense of the scale of the sea. The cover and alternate-cover art that interspersed the first book is present here too, all the better for the absence of overlaid titles. Breaks and catch-up at the start of each of the original comic issues is subtley done and non-intrusive - something other writers could learn from. None of the mid-scene cliff-hangers from Tomb Raider (or Rocket-Man TV serials) here - scene changes, and musings from another character are used to keep the story flowing instead.
In all, a great continuation of the Fathom line. If you don't have 'Fathom 1: War Beneath the Waves', then this book might not make much sense to you, being a conclusion of a previous story (hence it dropped a star in my rating). If you do have it, then you've probably already ordered this one. My recommendation is to buy both. Or, if you're sure you only want one, buy the first one - you'll soon change your mind.
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on 2 August 2001
This book is the second book in the fathom series. the first book being fathom-war beneath the waves. the book has an extremely strong storyline and moves along at a steady pace, but the real strength of this book comes from its artwork. Michael turner (who has had a recent operation) has come out fighting with breathtaking art. Turner knows exactly how to put what he sees onto the page and as a result i cannot recommend this book enough though you will have to read the first to make sense of it all though. Also turner is the creator one of the most popular manga characters. "witch blade". I make note of her as she appears in this book and for anybody wanting to find out more the witchblade series is also a great read. In general- a great book with great story and amazing artwork. a must buy for anyone who has bought the first fathom book and enjoyed it.
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on 8 August 2001
this is the second fathom book and like the first it has good story amazing artwork by michael turner. the book is a must buy for people who wish to learn more about the mysterious world of fathom and aspen matthews.
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