Issue by Issue – Rom #40

Rom40Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Ian Akin, Brian Garvey
Colours – Ben Sean
Letters – Jim Novak

The science-fiction odyssey that is Rom continues and it finds our hero once more flying over the countryside and coming to the aid of children one more time.  It may seem repetitive, but for whatever the reason, the Dire Wraiths need them to strengthen their spells and they are now ready to bring the human race under their control.  With the Dark Nebula now in alignment with the Earth, Wraith sorcery is at its peak and so they summon forth a demon the likes of which Rom has never seen before.  Even with all of the power at his command, it is doubtful that he will come out on top.  Once more Rom is sent into the thick of things courtesy of Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema and it finds the Wraiths more powerful than ever.  That is little deterrent to Rom though as he knows if he does not stop the creatures than the Earth is doomed.  This issue also sees Rom pine for Brandy, the woman he loves and his lost humanity once again while elsewhere in the book, Brandy is becoming one with the Starshine armour thanks to Doctor Dredd, who is in fact a Wraith himself.  It is a bit of a surreal moment as Brandy wants nothing more than to be with Rom and will do anything to attain that goal and we then see her merging with what amounts to Starshine’s corpse.  The strange thing about the whole thing, either than the merging itself, is that it is being done by a Wraith.  There are some questions that arise because of that like why would a Wraith want to help her out and obviously there is a larger plan in place so what would it be?  Things are definitely heating up in this book on a couple of different fronts with Rom in the battle of his life and Brandy in a battle with her heart.  Truly great work from Buscema and Mantlo!

4 out of 5

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