Published and © by Marvel and Rom © Parker Brothers, March 1980
Title: “The Fire, the Friend, and the Foe!”
Synopsis: Rom battles human-turned-spaceknight Firefall while potential love-interest Brandy Clark tries to escape from Dire Wraiths.
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Sal Buscema
Review: Rom seems to be settling into a solid-but-not-spectacular groove. Writer Bill Mantlo continues to develop the supporting cast while revealing the reach of the Dire Wraith threat. Meanwhile, “Our Pal” Sal Buscema – the quintessential journeyman of Marvel’s Bronze age – delivers page after page of energetic art. But both story and art rarely escape the orbit of serviceable. The characters are still too cardboard and the art never achieves that next-level pop. There’s little question Rom has that “special something.” Now, it’s up to the creative team to figure out how to tap that potential.
Cool factor: Rom is cool …
Not-so-cool factor: … but should be cooler. (Also, that bland cover certainly isn’t adding to the cool.)
Character quotable: “Such is the danger of my quest that in fighting evil I will be corrupted by it. On that day, my goal of peace will vanish like a dream … and my soul will submit to the savagery of war!” – Rom, battlefield philosopher
Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on Jan. 18, 2009.