With every passing day, the Dire Wraiths become not only more bold and daring, but vicious and cruel, moreso than usual. Because the humans have sided with Rom and Starshine, they are now the enemy and the Wraiths will consider them as such, no quarter given. To that effect, they have chosen their latest victims – a snow-bound train full of men, women and children. Bill Mantlo and Steve Ditko have crafted a tale packed with horror, one that features horrific creatures and even more horrific acts and all that our heroes can do is look on helplessly as they have arrived too late to prevent the massacre that has taken place. This kind of scene is nothing new to Rom, having fought the Wraiths now for two hundred years. It is a something that you never get used to, but for Rom, it is just another in a long line of grievances the Wraiths have built up and at some point, he will return them in kind. Starshine is angry, so angry she cannot seem to think straight and she feels as if she will never again discover the humanity she lost, will never become that young girl named Brandy who fell in love with a Spaceknight from the stars. Rick Jones is angry as well, for in all his time spent fighting amongst heroes and villains, he has never seen anything quite like this. It is here that he comes to realize that sometimes villains play for keeps and that evil truly exists. Mantlo delivers a somber tale, one that features no winners, only those unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. While the book was fairly downtrodden overall, you can be sure that our heroes will come out on top against their enemies, hopefully sooner rather than later.
4 out of 5