Issue by Issue – Rom #39

Rom #39Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Ian Akin, Brian Garvey
Colours – Ben Sean
Letters – Jim Novak

Deep inside the British Museum, the Dire Wraiths are up to no good.  As the Wraith home world comes into alignment with Earth, they get stronger and stronger and it is getting harder for Rom to defeat them.  Luckily, Rom is not the only one onto these creatures as Shang-Chi along with his companions Blackjack Tarr, Clive Reston and Leiko Wu are also on the case and when danger rears its head, it is almost impossible for Shang-Chi to ignore.  The companions soon learn about an ancient Egyptian mummy who was in fact a Dire Wraith who landed on Earth many thousands of years ago.  Now, the Wraiths want to resurrect said mummy and it once again involves the use of children to further their magic.  The tale is an exciting one and the book is filled with equal parts horror and action.  Bill Mantlo has been writing one of the best story-arcs the book has featured up to this point and it finally feels like the book has found its stride after so many issues being stuck in Clairton.  The blend of science-fiction, horror and action that he and Sal Buscema have been crafting in each and every tale keeps you hooked from page to page, from issue to issue and it always leaves you wanting more.  Rom who has been fantastic on his own, always seems to be just a little bit more enjoyable when he has someone to play off of, whether it is the X-Men or the Sub-Mariner and so it is that his team-up Shang-Chi is highly entertaining and one of the best alliances to take place yet.  Buscema’s artwork is as fantastic as ever and is some of the best he has ever drawn outside of the work he did on the Incredible Hulk and proves just why he is a legend in the business.  While our heroes do end up winning in the end, there is no doubt that the Wraiths will return and that Rom will face threats greater still.

4 out of 5

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