Michael Turner

Comic book artist Michael Turner passed on late last month at age 37. Although young, Turner already had an accomplished much including art for Witchblade, Fathom, Superman/Batman, and various covers for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. He was American born and southern boy heralding from Crossville, Tennessee.

I mention him here because not only did he draw the covers for Submariner #1 and #5 (see the cover at Wikipedia), he created and owned the comic Fathom, which is just as cool as it sounds. The concept is a female superhero with water-based powers and of course since this is a graphic novel drawn by a man she’s a little saucy too.

A synopsis from Wikipedia of the early plots is below the fold.

Fathom begins as the cruise ship Paradise arrives in San Diego 10 years after it was reported to have disappeared. A military quarantine was established to cross examine the crew and passengers, however no one on board knew that they had been missing. Compounding the mystery was an amnesiac girl discovered by the crew while the Paradise was still at sea. The girl could only remember that her name was Aspen. Aspen was taken from the ship by a vacationing naval officer named Captain Matthews, who adopted her and raised her as his own. Aspen has a strange attraction to water, and spent much of her youth swimming, eventually making the US Olympic team for the 1988 Seoul games. She even wins the gold, but has her medal taken away after she gives an abnormal response to a drug test. Afterwards, Aspen attended UC San Diego and received a degree in Marine Biology. She is then invited to study at a top-secret underwater science facility known as the DMD, or Deep Marine Discovery. The DMD is a joint project between the United States and Japan. The facility was built over a strange underwater craft of unknown origin, which both nations study to determine its origin. However, the Americans and Japanese no longer trust each other, and rely on an intermediary named Cannon Hawke to share research data. Aspen is also introduced to a mysterious man who somehow entered the DMD and requested to be placed into a tube filled with water. He requires no air, leading the DMD to deduce that despite his appearance, he is not human.

Meanwhile, a US Navy test pilot named Chance Calloway is testing an experimental amphibious fighter plane for Admiral Maylander, who heads Naval Intelligence. Maylander is also the man who oversaw the quarantine of the Paradise. Chance’s wingman is suddenly killed by a craft resembling the one at the DMD. Violating orders, Chance pursues the craft, first in the air, and then underwater. Disobeying orders, he fires a torpedo at the craft, only to have it dissolve into the water before the torpedo reaches its target. Without a target, the torpedo locks onto the generator at the DMD, and destroys it, severely damaging the facility. Before she drowns, Aspen is rescued by the man in the tube, who springs to life and attempts to take her with him. He begins to dissolve into water just like the alien craft, and Aspen begins to subconsciously dissolve as well. However, Naval rescue teams arrive and the man flees. Aspen is rescued, but not before Calloway sees her in her half-dissolved form. He goes AWOL to try and find Aspen and figure out what he saw. He eventually finds Aspen, who cannot explain her abilities. Before she can find out any further, she is abducted by government personnel, and brought to Killian, the man held in the DMD. He tells Aspen that she is a member of a race of aquatic humanoids called the Blue, who possess the ability to control water.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.


4 Replies to “Michael Turner”

  1. ha! You never cease to amaze me Craig. You not only are enough of a comic book geek to know WHO Michael Turner is..but you put it on DSN!! I’m impressed. You’ll be putting up posts about Black Manta and his ecoterrorist ways before long!

  2. Oooh, thanks! I’ve been looking for some new comics. As long as Aspen doesn’t have a case of pornface, I’ll see if I can get some issues of Fathom at Comic Con. (in just 3 weeks! Wheee!)

  3. How sad. I knew him a little, and he was very sweet and generous, in addition to being an excellent artist.

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