Issue by Issue – Rom #58

Rom #58Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Mel Candido
Colours – Ben Sean
Letters – Janice Chiang

The evil at Beaver Lake continues to pervade even though the Dire Wraiths are gone. What remains is their sorcery which is seeping into the very soil of the land itself and corrupting all it finds there. While our heroes rest up from doing battle, which includes members of Alpha Flight among them, new to the scene is Ant-Man who has responded to a call requesting aid from the Avengers. So it is that Rom, Starshine and the diminutive Ant-Man shrink down to see if they can get to the very bottom of what the Wraiths have done and to find out if there is anything that they can do about it before all is lost. Though it might have seemed like a strange choice to send Ant-Man out of all the Avengers to help in this time of crisis, Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema show that perhaps it was an inspired one. When the three head into the earth, they find the contamination that they are looking for and not only that, they see the effects of it firsthand as the ants who are screaming out in pain, are transformed into monstrous creatures who then make their way to the surface. If Rom and company cannot stop them, they could infect the Ecosystem in a permanent and disastrous way where there could be no coming back from and in the end, the Wraiths will have won. This story started off very unassuming with Rom and Brandy simply responding to a Wraith threat but it has evolved into a very complicated and dangerous situation that even some of the world’s greatest heroes have been unable to stop. What is really great to see is that Mantlo and Buscema have injected a fair amount of horror back into the title which is when it works best. The drama is good, the science-fiction aspect apparent, but when the horror comes out, it really gives the book an edge and a thrill that it does not have otherwise. Science-fiction and horror have always made a good pairing and in this title, it is always used to great effect. What remains to be seen is if Ant-Man can help our hero’s succeed where Alpha Flight was unable to.

4.5 out of 5

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