‘Rom #1’ Comic Review
plot/script by Christos Gage and Chris Ryall; pencils/colors by David Messina; inks by Michele Pasta; letters by Shawn Lee; published by Ted Adams
Rom #1 does readers a favor and includes a reprint of Rom #0, which debuted on Free Comic Book Day. In that issue, the writers attempt to trick those who are unfamiliar with Rom into believing he poses a threat to humans.
It makes an interesting twist for newcomers and adds an element of surprise when it turns out we have misjudged the renowned space knight. Rather than this weaponized cyborg being the threat to society, shapeshifters called Dire Wraiths are the true enemy in the series. These alien lifeforms have been disguising themselves as the humans they kill and feed upon. Their mission is to take over the Earth with their quiet, and deceptive tactics.
Fortunately for humans, Rom is here to stop them just like he did in the 80’s, and it looks like he will have a human war veteran fighting by his side this time around. Rom #1 briefly introduces Darby. She is a young woman on military leave after a tour overseas, and she has been recently diagnosed with PTSD.
Her expectations of peace time are almost immediately shattered once the space knight locates her and a shocking revelation is revealed to both her and readers. War time is arising on Earth, and regardless of where Darby finds herself now, enemies will be there. The question now is can Rom exterminate all of the Dire Wraith before Earth is completely consumed by the magical, shapeshifting beasts?
The comic certainly allows new readers to easily navigate into the alien-hunting world. For established Rom fans, the opening sequence in #0 serves as a suspenseful barrier for Rom to overcome in order to protect humans. It also makes the debut of the Dire Wraiths that much more terrifying.
The suspense and terror is elevated even further by the revelation that even high-standing government officials and security teams have been compromised; the end conclusion being that Rom is almost certainly humanity’s only hope of salvation. Darby’s role in saving Earth from the Dire Wraith prompts a well-deserved fascination. It will be interesting to seeing how Darby handles this new threat while still battling her own emotional woes and psychological setbacks.
Then there is yet another female character that may play a larger role in the series. This local police officer, Camilla Byers, appears to have the ability to differentiate between Dire Wraiths in disguise and actually human beings. Her very useful abilities seem to be something she acquired after her brief encounter with Rom. It seems inevitable that she, Rom, and Darby will eventually encounter one another once more, and that is something I am definitely looking forward to in future issues.
She will surely be a great asset in protecting Darby, who at this point has no apparent advantage over the Dire Wraiths aside from her military training. Since I am not familiar with all of Rom’s abilities, I also wonder if Camilla’s ability to hear the thoughts of and/or spoken Dire Wraith language is something Rom is capable of as well. If not, she will be even more important in overthrowing the Dire Wraith’s tactical moves.
Overall, I suggest both newcomers and long-time followers of Rom check out the new series. It certainly has ample potential.