Cover price $4.99
Written by Christos Gage and Chris Ryall
Art by David Messina with colour assists by Michele Pata
“We’ve been invaded and only a s pace knight can save us! First there was his epic return in this year's FCBD #0, and now the ongoing tale of ROM begins in earnest! Christos Gage, Chris Ryall, and David Messina kick off the wildest new series of the year as Rom's war with the DIRE WRAITHS hits close to home in "Earthfall, part 1!"”
The story opens with a fun homage to ROM’s original crash landing back in 1979. We get a good look at the functionality of ROM’s modern appearance and how his weapons and devices are now an extension of his armour. Just as ROM has received an upgrade, the Dire Wraiths’ get to level up as they’re able to use human lifeforce to shape change into monstrous hawk creatures.
Hats off to Chris Ryall and IDW Publishing for pursuing this character. Re-imagined for a whole new generation, with minor alterations to his armor and a new supporting cast, ROM is ready to continue his epic battle against the Dire Wraiths who have infiltrated human society. Thankfully, his supporting cast has been modernized as well, with stronger female protagonists that will have more of an active presence.
Messina’s art reminded me a lot of the work of Ian Akin & Brian Garvey from the 1980s. The panel layouts and the smooth flow and transition really brings the action to life.
I really liked the tip of the hat to Bill Mantlo, the Marvel Comics writer who pretty much created the ROM-verse, in naming the park in the story, Mantlo Park.
The only aspect that I wasn’t thrilled about was the upcoming crossover with the other IDW Hasbro properties. While my inner child is blow away at the thought of pitching his GI Joe action figures against ROM, the adult me has become wary of event driven storyline and was hoping for something a bit more focused and streamlined.
However, I’ll be there for the next issue to see where they take ROM, the Wraithslayer next! This first issue was worth the 30 year wait!