Issue by Issue – Rom #74

Rom #74Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Steve Ditko
Inker – John Byrne
Colours – Petra Scotese
Letters – Janice Chiang

Rom has not had the best of homecomings. He and his fellow Spaceknights have returned to Galador to find that their bodies which were kept safe and sound for two hundred years have been destroyed by a new generation of Spaceknights, a group far less removed from humanity than Rom and his brethren. Also a complete surprise to Rom is the presence of Brandy Clark which is quickly explained before the lot of them are embroiled in a fierce battle for the future of their planet. Bill Mantlo paints a dire picture with this second to last issue of Rom’s ongoing title, one that could very well spell the end of the Galadorian race except for those that reside in their Spaceknight armour. A conundrum is presented in the book as Rom refuses to kill, for it would make him no better than those that have done so and yet the new Spaceknights feel no such compunction. So it is that the battle between the two factions is a little one-sided and the remains of the Galadorian race are murdered with Rom and his companions unable to do anything about it. It is also soon discovered that this new group of rogue Spaceknights want to destroy the planet as well, leaving no trace that their race ever existed. Hope does spring forth by the end of the issue, but just how that aids in the continuation of Galador and its peoples is unknown and hopefully, Mantlo has a grand finale in mind. Illustrating the story was Steve Ditko once again with a little aid from John Byrne and it looked fantastic, especially those scenes that saw Spaceknight against Spaceknight. As the book leaves off, you have to wonder if Rom and Brandy will get their happy ending, for if anyone deserves it, it is them.

4.5 out of 5
rom #74A 1986

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