Issue by Issue – Rom Annual #4

rom annual 4Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Steve Ditko
Inker – Al Milgrom
Colours – Petra Scotese
Letters – Janice Chiang

The Spaceknights which include among their number Seeker, Scanner, Trapper and Rom, continue to search out their homeworld of Galador and any of their brethren who might be lost along the way. It is a bit of bad luck then that brings them into Shi’ar space and an encounter with the Imperial Guard. Bill Mantlo, Steve Ditko and Al Milgrom inject quite a bit of tension into this tale of Rom and his brothers and it finds them standing accused of the crimes of another. As the Spaceknights soon discover, it is another member of their race that has been destroying Shi’ar Dreadnoughts, killing many in the process. Rom cannot believe it, especially as part of him has to keep wondering just what it is that keeps corrupting the Spaceknights to do those unspeakable acts, those that were meant to be so bold, so good. After a few battles both physical and verbal with Gladiator and the Imperial Guard, the truth comes to light and two deaths are mourned while Gladiator learns a truth of his own. Mantlo continues to provide stories that explore the characterization of the Spaceknights and those that they encounter and he humanizes everyone to such a degree that you cannot help but associate with whatever it is they are going through, otherworldly or not. The book does have its fair share of action, but Rom is tired of fighting and wants to settle things peacefully if he is able, but seeing him go up against Gladiator is awesome to behold for there are not too many beings in the universe who can stand up to the man, and Rom only barely manages to do so. So once again, a Spaceknight falls and Rom mourns yet he will continue on his way in the hopes of finding Galador once again and reclaiming his home. As an added bonus, with a little help from Milgrom, Ditko delivers some of his strongest artwork on this title thus far. A truly excellent book on all fronts.

4.5 out of 5

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