Review – ROM: Dire Wraiths #1
ROM: Dire Wraiths #1
Writer: Chris Ryall
Artists: Luca Pizzari, Guy Dorian Sr., Sal Buscema
Colorists: Jim Boswell, Ross Campbell
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Editor: David Mariotte
It’s the end of the 1960s. Astronauts head into the great unknown, looking to make history and touch down on the moon. Unfortunately, someone beat them to it, and it’s ROM’s enemies, the Dire Wraiths. ROM: Dire Wraiths is less a superhero story and more a horror-lite tale. The story itself is one that’s a bit dark and sinister, one you’ve almost read or seen, but with the Dire Wraiths, the goal isn’t mindless destruction. They want off the moon, and see Earth as the ultimate goal. With ROM still trying to find his footing in comics again, I feel a tale that helps tell a bit of recent history of his greatest enemies is not a bad thing at all to have.
ROM: Dire Wraiths features Chris Ryall on writing. He evokes a lot of passion from the Bill Mantlo/Marvel ROM era. While IDW Publishing has to make some changes from how the Marvel Comics versions work, I feel like Ryall makes them work in a way that they don’t feel derivative of those stories and makes them so any ROM fan can enjoy the comics. There’s a lot of characters here to juggle, but I was left feeling happy with the effort to give quite a few of them different voices or motivations.
The art team of Luca Pizzari and Jim Boswell help set a really creepy, dark atmosphere for the main story. The back-up story features ROM with art by Guy Dorian Sr., Sal Buscema and Ross Campbell, it is a real treat, too. Buscema penciled many of ROM’s Marvel stories, so seeing him being on a book like this is pretty wonderful. Shawn Lee’s lettering helps the book feel like a quality, finished product.
I’m not a fan of $4.99 comics. However, ROM: Dire Wraiths has a much higher page count and a quality creative team. For this kind of effort, I won’t mind paying a bit more. I’m a huge ROM fan and I probably own every appearance and I feel that while I know there are differences with the old and new material, these stories are in the right hands and that newer fans of ROM and the old school ones can enjoy a tale like this one. However, if you just want ROM, you won’t get much of him in this issue.