Issue by Issue – Rom #72

Rom_Vol_1_72Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Steve Ditko
Inker – Bob Layton
Colours – Petra Scotese
Letters – Janice Chiang

With only four issues left in the series and nary a trace of everyone’s favourite Spaceknight, and though it is quite possible at the time Bill Mantlo was not aware of it, the book had to make way for a Secret Wars II tie-in and while you might think it would be terrible, it actually turned out to be really quite good. The Beyonder has come to Earth once more, looking to learn a little about fulfillment, the heart’s desire, contentment, etc. To that effect he has a run-in with Brandy Clark, Rick Jones and their ward, Cindy Adams. Next to meeting Rom and aiding the heroes of the world in defeating the Dire Wraiths, having the Beyonder show up at their home is probably one of the best experiences any of them will ever have. As the Beyonder is in a giving mood and looking to satisfy his curiosity and grow emotionally, he grants each of them their heart’s greatest desire. So once again, Brandy becomes Starshine, Rick is cured of his cancer and becomes a superhero proper and Cindy is reunited with her parents, rescued from Limbo to live once more. Soon though, Rick and Brandy realize that their heart’s desires are only those that are immediately on their mind, that what they have thought of may not be what is best, for with a wish with no boundaries, they could do a lot of good in the world without being so self-serving. The Beyonder is easily confused by human emotions and it is rightfully so as humans are both fickle and complex beings, so he tries to do what is best at the moment and takes his leave of them. The book ends on a happy note which will set the stage for the series ending in the same manner and due to Mantlo’s incredible eloquence, the story is one of the better ones to ever grace the series – even with the Beyonder in it.

4.5 out of 5

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