Story by: Christos Gage & Chris Ryall Art by: David Messina Inks by: Michele Pasta Letters by: Shawn Lee Published by: IDW
Rom #1 is the story of the legendary space knight of the Solstar Order, and his quest to destroy the Dire Wraiths – an evil species of alien invader. The basic premise of a shiny robot knight from the cosmos doesn’t sound too exciting – as with any tale involving robotic life, it falls upon the creative team to give them “life” else there is a lack of empathy for the character. What follows in this book, however, is rather entertaining. The story by Christos Gage and Chris Ryall takes Rom to Earth. An Earth that has been invaded by the Dire Wraiths, creatures that can appear in the guise of humans (a firm science fiction staple going back decades) while the host body is actually already dead. When Rom arrives on Earth, the Wraiths have already ingratiated themselves into human society, and have been preparing for Rom’s arrival.
The art of Rom is provided by David Messina and they do a very competent job on bringing the space knight, and the Wraiths, to life. There is a nice variety to the pages, in terms of the action and the various characters involved. The Dire Wraiths are nicely realized, and the native humans are suitably wrought. Given that the central character is a very generic type robot, it is a testament to the artist that the interest levels in the pages don’t suffer as a consequence. Overall, the book fares better than you’d think, given the generic nature of the science fiction element and the central character’s attributes. This is due to the sterling work of the creative team, the story is plotted/scripted with a good deal of care, the narrative evolves as the book progresses. Allied to the solid work on the script the art from Messina is very effective and provides enough variety to keep the reader occupied. While there are doubts about Rom as a leading character there seems enough from this issue to suspect that ensuing volumes will be action packed, engaging, and thoroughly worthwhile. For once we have an entertaining book that doesn’t sell the reader short, but delivers a quality narrative wrapped in some very nice art work (the blood spatter is a delight!)