Rom has finally reclaimed his humanity and while it is everything that he has ever wished for since his transformation into a Spaceknight, it comes at a price. Part of that cost is known to him as he has given up protecting the Earth and the universe from the Dire Wraiths and at this moment he cares very little for has he not done enough? A secondary penance rears its head as Rom’s new body starts deteriorating, something he never expected and he comes to realize that Quasimodo was not all that he appeared to be and also unknown to Rom is that said villain was working with the Dire Wraiths. Over the course of the series, Rom has been built up as a paragon of virtue and everything that is right in the universe but with this issue we find out that perhaps Rom is not everything that he has originally seemed to be. It could be because he is just as fallible as everyone else and when presented with your heart’s desire, found it too tempting to not give in. Or maybe Rom is simply not that good a man. Of course, it would be hard to say that as we have seen the acts of heroism that he has perpetrated and so this abandonment of everything he once was must be chalked up to a momentary weakness. So while Rom is revelling, and then not, in his newfound humanity, Starshine and Dr. Dredd show up to kill him, not knowing that it is no longer Rom in the Spaceknight armour and after a tussle takes place between them, Quasimodo flees with all hope of the real Rom regaining his all but quashed. The most striking image of the book is that of Starshine cradling Rom’s human body at the end of the story as it sees the roles of Rom and Brandy reversed. Yet another excellent issue from Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema packed with action, drama and even a little romance.
4 out of 5