Issue by Issue – Rom #38

Rom #38Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Ian Akin, Brian Garvey
Colours – Ben Sean
Letters – Jim Novak

In this issue, Rom must deal with another Wraith sorceress and try to figure out why it is the Wraiths have been after children as of late.  Every time that he has encountered the villains, there have been children in danger and he finds it perturbing to say the least.  On another front, Shang-Chi, the erstwhile Master of Kung-Fu also has a Dire Wraith problem of his own and in the end; he is able to take care of the matter all on his own.  The cover of this issue is a bit of a misnomer as it looks as though our two heroes team up when in fact, they do not even meet.  The book does set that situation up though as anyone who has dealings with the Dire Wraiths, good or bad, is going to have dealings with Rom.  Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema continue to chronicle the adventures of the Spaceknight and they are not making it easy for the man.  The Dire Wraiths and their sorcery are getting stronger, supposedly because the Wraith home world and Earth are coming into alignment.  If that is true, you know that Mantlo has something big planned coming up and that it is going to happen sooner rather than later.  Another thing to look forward to is seeing Rom team up with Shang-Chi who at this point in time was still known as the son of Fu Manchu before legal ramifications prevented that from being the case later on in Marvel history.  It will be hard to top the time Rom and Namor got together to fight the Wraiths, but it should be just as exciting.  The way the Wraiths are using children is quite disturbing and as this issue shows, it is not just those that are alive, but also the dead which is a new development.  A lot happens in this book and it looks like there will be a lot coming up as well.  With some great artwork from Buscema and a story packed with horror, magic and even a little bit of drama with Brandy Clark, altogether make this another great chapter in Rom’s ongoing saga.

4 out of 5

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