Rom: Dire Wraiths #1
Rom is a Spaceknight and Lord of the Solstar Order. He fights the Dire Wraiths, shape-shifting aliens determined on taking over the world.
It’s so nice to have ROM back! Well, in this case, it’s not so much ROM as it is his arch-enemies, but you know what I mean, it’s nice to be back in his universe. This time instead of diving head-first into a full out ROM story, writer Chris Ryall gives us a terrifying, yet super interesting look at the Dire Wraiths. Those terrible shape-shifting aliens bent on infiltrating mankind and taking over the Earth! There’s a couple of things that Ryall does in this mini-series that I love. To start, it’s more of a horror comic than any other ROM story I’ve read before (and I’ve read them all!) and I really dig that he went that way with it. That approach to the Dire Wraiths has never really been explored in depth before, so it’s both a really interesting take and a refreshing change of pace. As shape-shifters, there’s always been an underlying scary element to the Wraiths, but it’s never been fleshed-out to this degree before. In addition, Ryall writes this as a horror story in space, so both the lack of “superhero” element combined with the suspense and scares in the story propels this into a whole different direction than any of the other Hasbro properties has gone ever before.
Luca Pizzari has a lot of experience with edgier books, which makes him an ideal artist for this book. In my opinion, one of the hardest things to get across the page effectively is horror. It’s hard to be scared when there’s something on the printed page and not jumping out from the dark on TV or film, but Pizzari is a master of tone when it comes to this. He makes the book much more frightening than a lesser artist would, and part of that is his attention to detail and ability to mix the fantastic with realistically drawn technology. Pizzari is a big factor in what makes this book a success. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention colorist Jim Boswell. His contributions to the art in this issue are indispensable. The sinister mood in the book wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective as it is without him.
You might think I’ve run out of things to say about this issue, however, IDW gives us a late Christmas present in the form of a ROM back-up story by Ryall with art by Guy Dorian, Sr. Now, I could stop right there and you’d be impressed, BUT, I’m not going to. Working with Dorian on the art duties is none other than…..SAL BUSCEMA!!!! Yes, you read that right. Sal freaking Buscema. Can you believe it? I am officially done giving you reasons that you should run out and buy this book, and put it on your pull list. Go already!!!!
I know it's only two weeks in, but this is my favorite comic I've read this year. Yes, I am a HUGE ROM fan, so I'm over the mooned thrilled that he's back. But, I am still able to be objective on whether or not a comic about something that I love is good or bad. Thankfully this one's awesome, so I don't have to make that choice.
Rom Dire Wraiths #1: Walk of Life
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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