From Aspen Comics, Vince Hernandez, Oliver Nome, Lori Hanson, Emilio Laiso, John Starr, Josh Reed.

In all of the reviews of this series I have mentioned the strength of Kiani.  She is in the upper echelon of powerful characters in comics.  Male, female or from any other reality.  This issue builds up the inevitable war between all sides and now Kiani shows another side.  That of leader.

Kiani steps up in this issue.  She honors her enemies and puts down her supporters.  There is a unique code of honor here.  Kiani has respect for fellow warriors and no time for games.  She is far from dumb, and is more than capable of playing her own games but its just not her style.

In fact, that “style” rings truer than other recent comic books.  Sure this is all about warring factions of undersea kingdoms and that is fantastic.  But as there are numerous countries and religions in our real world that constantly battle due to differences of opinion Kiani’s conflict is not too far fetched.  Both sides have legit reasons and motivations.  The differences that have led to this civil war are more legitimate and understandable than the explanations behind a same named mega event from another company.

Kiani as an Elite Blue is much like the water she comes from.  One of the most beautiful creations on all of Earth that can turn in seconds destroying everything in its path.  Kiani is both the calming wave and the devastating tsunami.

Finally, lets give it up for our friend Olive Nome on the art.  Oliver has been through some tough times lately (and if you want to help out head over to this link ).  The Fathom world is always stunning, but Oliver brings something special to it each and every time.  He draws what comic book artists should be drawing.  Differences.  Every character has his or her own build, hair, armor, markings, everything that is needed to differentiate among such a massive cast.  He also draws some stunning looking women.  Yes, I will defend every woman in an Aspen comic as a strong female, the strongest in all of comics.  But this is a visual medium and all readers want something captivating for their eyes.  Nome gets better and better with every page.  These pages shouldn’t be left on the table, they should be hanging in a gallery.

Aspen Comics is the home of great female leads.  And if you’re not accepting Kiani as a lead then you need to run.  Swim away.   Fast.  She is coming and she will defeat you.