Review: Rom #12

Rom #12 cover
Cover by Michael Golden

Rom #12
Published and © by Marvel and Rom © Parker Brothers, November 1980

Title: “Heart Attack!”
Synopsis: Rom encounters his first superhero since coming to Earth; unfortunately, Jack of Hearts thinks the spaceknight is a killer!

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Sal Buscema

Review: The first year of Rom adventures wraps up with the spaceknight’s first meeting with an Earthling superhero. Things don’t go well – of course – and the heroes spend most of this issue exchanging big punches. Writer Bill Mantlo does add a little pathos here, as Rom begins to wonder if humanity might be capable of defending itself. Would that render his mission – and sacrifice – moot? But the story as a whole struggles to escape the gravity of heavy exposition and back story. The art, by the always reliable Sal Buscema, is solid but doesn’t elevate this tale.

Grade: B

Cool factor: Jack of Hearts …
Not-so-cool factor: … or not. This reviewer can never quite decide if Jack of Hearts is cool, or just a bad Alice in Wonderland cosplayer. (But he does look pretty awesome on that Michael Golden cover!)

Notable: Guest-starring Jack of Hearts.
Character quotable: “I understand your fear of me … but, by golden Galador, you try my patience.” – Rom, an understanding fella (for an alien death machine) 

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on March 14, 2016.

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