Review: Rom #5

Rom #5 cover
Cover by Al Milgrom

Rom #5
Published and © by Marvel and Rom © Parker Brothers, April 1980

Title: “A House Is Not a Home!”
Synopsis: Rom and two human allies take refuge in a deserted house – a house possessed by an other-dimensional terror!

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Sal Buscema

Review: OK, this is one odd outing. The issue starts off with more sci-fi slow burn, as Rom and two human allies – Brandy Clark and her fiancée, Steve Jackson – flee Dire Wraith agents. Writer Bill Mantlo is clearly setting up a love triangle between the humans and Rom, which adds a nice touch of humanity to the heroic-but-otherwise-cold spaceknight. The trio randomly takes refuge in an isolated, deserted house … that happens to be possessed by an other-dimensional creature… who happens to know the Dire Wraiths. Even Little Me couldn’t suspend that much disbelief!

Grade: C

Second opinion: “Who but Bill Mantlo would revive a villain consisting of an alien who likes to disguise himself as a haunted house?” — Kim Thompson, The Comics Journal #54, March 1980

Cool factor: Umm, no.

Notable: Flashback appearance featuring Doctor Strange. … The “Space Notes” letters page include a short biographical feature titled “He Writes the Spaceknight: Bill Mantlo.”

Character quotable: “I feel like a child in his arms! Safe! Secure! He’s so strong, and he sounds so … so noble!” – Brandy Clark, partaking in some internal monologue about a certain someone (hint: it’s not her fiancé!)

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on Jan. 25, 2016.

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