Rom has been under a spell of late and quite literally too as the Wraiths have cast an enchantment to stop the Spaceknight from interfering with the Worldmerge. With Rom out of the picture, it guarantees a win for the evil creatures for without him, the gigantic Neoneutralizer that Forge has built will not work. Bill Mantlo and Steve Ditko create a lot of excitement with this issue as it is in this very book that the war against the Dire Wraiths will be decided. It is quite intriguing to see our hero as helpless as he is, for there has never really been another instance of it unless you count the time he was transferred into a mortal body in Russia many issues ago. All Rom can do is stand and watch as the Wraith’s wreak their villainy and the Worldmerge causes catastrophe around and across the Earth. One of the bigger questions to plague this latest storyline was the fact that none of Earth’s heroes seemed able to help out Rom while there is this huge, global threat happening. It was not like he asked or anything, but you would assume that they would have heard about it and decided to chip in. Mantlo finally brings them out to play in this issue and it includes not only the Avengers, but the Defenders, the Soviet Super Soldiers and every other hero from around the globe which was really quite amazing to see, especially illustrated by the legendary Steve Ditko. Even Rick Jones and Brandy get in on the action, unwilling to stand around despite their personal circumstances. Aside from all the action and drama going on, Mantlo drops a little revelation amidst it all involving Rick and his feelings towards Brandy, which had not been mentioned whatsoever in any previous book and should make things very interesting going forward. With an ending that was not at all expected, the book sets the stage for the final fate of the Dire Wraiths.
3.5 out of 5