Fathom issue one hardly holds your hand on character re-introduction, with Vince Hernandez (Kiani) diving (yes, there will be puns here) right back in to the world Michael Turner so meticulously built. In the first issue, Killian returns to Aspen to entice her back to the Blue. When she rejects his megalomaniac ideology, Kilian releases his daughter Anika to rain hell on the capital of the Blue, Muria City.
The second issue of volume 8 picks up immediately after this destruction, body parts of Muria's citizens ooze blood and float through the remnants of the oceanic city. This destruction by Anika pushes her sister, Kiani, to warn Aspen about the destruction of Muria and the impending threats to her life on land.
There are decades of world building packed into this issue, with Michael Turner first debuting it in 1998 as his premiere creator-owned series. There were some issues with the story, it jumped around and had a lot pushed in without introduction; imagine watching Endgame as your first experience in the MCU. You could reasonably pick up on what was going on eventually, but a lot of nuance is lost in your lack of experience with the history. Although the publisher tries to include notes to fill readers in, Fathom is not a story where it makes sense to start in the middle. This is still a story worth trying on for size however, especially as a Michael Turner fan. It has the Top Cow/Turner art vibe, and Mauricio Campetella (Awaken Skies) emulates Turner's classic art styles, with colors especially elevated be the Peter Steigerwald and Natalia Nesterenko team. The ocean feels like it has depth and is beautifully rendered, and all lighting sources feel authentic.
The narration bubbles did take me out of the story with different characters, where yellow text on a white light-burst was hard to read and interrupted the natural flow of reading through a comic. However, what you see on the cover is what you get in panels and lends some nostalgia to the Turner legacy.
I recommend picking up this comic for Aquaman and Witchblade fans looking for something new, especially if they are thirsting for a line-up of female characters taking to the waves to settle matters themselves. These characters have stood on their own since the 90's and it's easy to see why the legacy has gone strong for so long. My only tip for Fathom volume 8 is to start at the beginning or risk drowning in the Blue.