Issue by Issue – Rom #9

ImageWriter – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Sal Buscema
Colours – Bob Sharen, George Roussos
Letters – Jim Novak

Rom finds himself underground after falling there last issue and notices a large power source somewhere nearby.  The power belongs to a reptilian creature named Serpentyne and he introduces himself and proceeds to narrate the tale of his past with the Wraiths and his people’s origin, of which he is the last survivor.  After his tragic tale is told, Rom in turn relates his own and mentions his Neutralizer which was taken by the Wraiths to which Serpentyne decides it should be him that wields this weapon of great power.  But Rom cannot let him have Galador’s greatest weapon and so they come to blows with only one foreseeable outcome.  Mantlo delivers another great issue full of action, but a sad one as it sees the extinction of an entire race.  Delivering the goods on an emotional front, Mantlo packs the book with his usual punch and it is nice to see Rom interact with someone other than Wraiths or humans. It is a short tale, not because it is less than the usual amount of pages, but simply because very little happens and what does, is very self-contained and flows at a quick pace.  Great work from all involved including series artist Sal Buscema who continues to make it one of the most beautiful books to ever be published.

4 out of 5

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