Kiani Breaks Loose

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Fathom: Kiani, Aspen’s first new project of 2007 officially kicks off this week (if you don’t count the special #0 preview issue released in January). The mini-series, by Vince Hernandez and Marcus To, sees Kiani, the popular warrior mistress from the pages of Fathom, claim the spotlight in her own solo tale.

BF spoke to Herandez about the book…

BROKEN FRONTIER: Since JT Krul has had a hand in most of the Fathom-related projects up to this point, how did you get the nod to script Fathom: Kiani ?

VINCE HERNANDEZ: JT Krul is definitely our go-to-guy because his vast knowledge of our Fathom and Soulfire universes, but Kiani was a project I’ve wanted to do for some time. Before I jumped onboard the ship (excuse the obligatory Fathom pun) as Editor-In-Chief at Aspen MLT, Inc, Michael Turner and Frank Mastromauro knew of my writing career and my passion for it.

After my first foray into comic writing with the Aspen Seasons Summer 2006 book, I pitched them the idea for the series and what I wanted to achieve for the character. They were really responsive from the start to the goals I laid out for the series and gave me the green light to begin working on it.

BF: With everything Aspen publishes so closely tied to Michael Turner’s vision, I’m sure his fingerprints are all over this book as well?

VH: Every aspect of the series bears his mark, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Mike is one of the most hands-on creators I’ve ever worked with, and really has a unique vision for what he wants in the Fathom universe. He did me a tremendous favor early on when he took my original plot outline and told me to stop what I was doing.

Originally, I intended to do a more localized story, but Mike broadened the scope and told me to shoot for the fences—so to speak. Those are magic words to a writer’s ears, and so I dove into the material and tried to pull out all the stops. But of course, all along the way I hounded Mike for his opinions and thoughts. I mean, they’ll always be his characters; I’m just honoured to be able to contribute to the rich Fathom mythos.

BF: What can you give away about the story itself?

VH: Readers will find an examination of Kiani’s character and her history. The long-running mystery surrounding her origin will be revealed. We will be revealing a new race of the underwater Blue and a new villain of sorts to the Fathom universe. Many of the characters from previous Fathom minis will make an appearance, and this storyline carries huge implications for ALL the characters in the Fathom universe.

BF: The artist on this book is Marcus To, fresh off Soulfire: Chaos Reign and Black Panther at Marvel. What does he add to the mini-series?

VH: He IS the mini-series. I’m merely laying out the blueprint, but Marcus, the inkers, and Peter Steigerwald are really the ones building the house. Marcus was the only artist ever talked about for this project from day one. His storytelling is the perfect match for the story I wanted to tell. He just gets it. Readers can check his work on Soulfire: Chaos Reign to see what I mean.

Most of the Fathom: Kiani mini-series will be dealing with very dark issues such as personal loss and sacrifice, and To’s art brings these emotions to each character in spades.

Click to enlarge    Click to enlarge    Click to enlarge

BF: This project is also the first released by Aspen this year. Does that imply anything about the strategic or important position of the mini-series in the publishing plan for 2007?

VH: We wanted to start off 2007 with a bang, and with our premier franchise Fathom leading the charge. Time-wise it was a perfect fit to debut the book in this slot as the ending of this series will lead right into the much-anticipated Fathom: Volume 3 . While I can’t reveal many details, I can say that JT Krul will be penning the volume—and his plans are huge!

BF: Is the publication of the mini-series the result of both Kiani’s evolution as a character within the Fathom universe as well as her popularity among fans?

VH: Absolutely, both reasons played a huge part in the timing of this release. Kiani’s popularity was already evident from her first appearance so the demand for her own series has been there for some time, but the fatal events that took place in the conclusion of Fathom: Volume 2 set her character’s evolution in motion very quickly.

That storyline left Kiani shattered emotionally and left vulnerable with her newly discovered powers, which she’ll come to discover (amongst other revelations) are just the tip of the iceberg. Amidst all the action and adventure of this series, the reader will ultimately find a character piece of Kiani.

BF: What else is there on the horizon for Aspen?

VH: Well, Fathom: Kiani is the first mini-series out of the gate for us, but stay tuned Aspen fans—especially Soulfire fans. We have something special cooking for Soulfire: New World Order—oops, did I just give away another secret? Fathom fans can look forward to the epic Fathom: Volume 3 and a few other surprises with the world below.

Fans of the NBC mega-hit television show Heroes can continue to look forward to Aspen’s immensely popular web-comic adaptations available exclusively on NBC.com.

And oh yeah, we will be debuting a completely new Aspen property as well!

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