Issue by Issue – Rom Annual #3

Rom Annual #3Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – William Johnson
Inker – Ian Akin, Brian Garvey
Colours – Ben Sean
Letters – Phil Felix

A turning point in the war with the Dire Wraiths happens in this issue as Starshine is no more. Bill Mantlo and W.M. Johnson take Brandy Clark out of the Starshine armour thanks to the return of Hybrid, who is not only looking to defeat Rom for good, but also looking to propagate and therefore in need of a wife – which is where Brandy comes into the picture. Everything begins when a group of Wraiths are holed up in a school, having taken the students hostage with army and S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel surrounding them. Everything comes to a head when Starshine loses her cool and busts in, putting everyone at risk. At the end of the conflict when Rom is hesitant to let Starshine kill what seems to be a Wraith child, it is instead sent to Limbo to join its brethren when the portal remains open just a little too long and that is when Hybrid makes good his escape. Of course, this would not be story featuring Rom’s greatest nemesis without some X-Men in play and thus the reason for the appearance of Professor X and the New Mutants. There are many questions that need answering now that Brandy has become her human self again, no longer a slave to the Galadarian armour she wore. Will she regain her sanity? Will she be able to come to terms with all that has happened to her? Will she go back to Clairton and will her love for Rom survive now that she can no longer fight or fly by his side? And what now will Rom do? He obviously still loves Brandy, but she is human again and he can never be as such. The war will obviously go on and even if the Earth should be rid of all Wraith influence, there are other worlds. Would our hero then leave the Earth to continue the battle until the universe is free of Wraiths or would he stay on Earth? A final question arises come the end of the book after the defeat of Hybrid and if he is truly gone for good this time or will he come back again to menace our cast? For now, a lot is left up in the air and it will be fun to see just where the story goes.

4 out of 5

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