Issue by Issue – Rom #37

Rom #37Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Ian Akin, Brian Garvey
Colours – Ben Sean
Letters – Jim Novak

Rom is determined to find the boy that he let slip through his fingers though there was little he could do as the Dire Wraiths are exceedingly strong in their magic in this particular part of Wales.  What follows is a battle of life and death, perhaps the greatest one Rom has faced thus far.  Luckily Rom is on the side of right and even while in the darkest part of the Earth, he has that going for him.  Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema continue the title’s journey with more somber stories which are really bringing the best out of our hero and the creators as well.  This darker tone is much more fascinating a read than the light, dramatic and soap-opera fair that permeated the book for much of its run.  It is not to say that it has not been good, it has, but seeing a bit of horror in the mix is really spicing things up.  The book also sees Rom descending into a bit of darkness of his own as he continues to kill Wraiths instead of banish them.  He still does a bit of the latter, but with the killing he seems to be going through a crisis of conscience, which perhaps he is.  Back in Clairton, Brandy Clark is also having a few problems of her own as she seems to have inherited the power of Starshine.  And while she pines over a man she cannot have, namely Rom for those who may not know, she decides that if Rom cannot be with her due to his lost humanity, and if she has the power of Starshine, then all that is needed is Starshine’s armour if she is to be with Rom.  So it is that we see Brandy dig up Starshine’s grave to steal her body, or at least whatever remains of it.  To top it all off, there is even an appearance from a ghostly king and his knights who give our robotic friend a helping hand when all seems lost.  Wonderful stuff by all involved.

4.5 out of 5

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