Issue by Issue – Rom #70

Rom #70Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Steve Ditko
Inker – Kim DeMulder
Colours – Petra Scotese
Letters – Janice Chiang

Rom, Seeker and Scanner, Spaceknights all, have detected the presence of one of their own upon an alien world filled with giant beasts not unlike dinosaurs. After a misunderstanding with one of the monsters, they come upon what looks to be the construction of some large edifice by a large group of creatures. Said creatures turn out to be Dire Wraiths, powerless ever since their defeat by Rom and now enslaved to do the bidding of a master called the Hidden God. Like all good stories though, you have to expect the unexpected and though Bill Mantlo tries his best to do so, the mystery of just who the perpetrator might be is completely given away by the Spaceknights very purpose upon the planet. Thankfully, it does not hurt the story any as Mantlo always manages to spin a fun yarn no matter the circumstances. So as expected, the Hidden God is a Spaceknight, one who goes by Unam the Unseen and whose power is the ability to turn invisible. Throughout their long war, each Spaceknight has had different experiences and that is to be expected and Unam has suffered. He was never the most courageous of the knights, though the very fact that he volunteered for such a procedure shows that he had courage enough and yet compared to the others, Unam always felt inferior. While Rom and his companions understand that, there is no excuse for his actions. Though the Wraiths be their ancient enemies, enslaving them to do your bidding makes you no better than they are and so it is that Rom steps in to do the right thing and banish them to limbo, ending Unam’s reign of terror. While it would be nice to say that the book had a happy ending, in this particular tale, there were no winners – only losers. This was a fantastic issue through and through and containing one of the hallmarks of the series proving that not every issue needs to end on a positive note.

4 out of 5

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