Review: Rom #6

Rom #6 cover
Al Milgrom cover

Rom #6
Published and © by Marvel and Rom © Parker Brothers, May 1980

Title: “Dog Day Afternoon!”
Synopsis: While recovering from earlier battles, Rom is attacked by mutant Dobermans better known as hell-hounds from the Black Nebula!

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Sal Buscema

Review: After the rare off issue (see review of Rom #5), writer Bill Mantlo gets Rom back on track. Taking advantage of the series’ classic sci-fi elements, Mantlo introduces a Dire Wraith caste system that helps establish the invaders’ sinister bonafides. He also debuts the dreaded deathwings and expands on the hell-hounds introduced in #5. The hounds are actually mutated Dobermans who serve as telepathic trackers and can transform into ghostlike humanoids. Sounds silly, but the concept works pretty well in execution. Add the continued development of key supporting cast members and Rom is back on the upswing.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: “Intriguing, with some promising situations.” – Martin Lock, BEM #28, May 1980

Cool factor: Time for a shout out to Sal Buscema. His consistency is a hallmark of Marvel’s Bronze Age.
Not-so-cool factor: Steve Jackson, current fiancée of future-Rom-love-interst Brandy Clark. Seriously, let’s zap the guy with Rom’s Neutralizer already.

Notable: The “Space Notes” letters page include a short biographical feature titled “He Renders the Spaceknight: ‘Our Pal’ Sal Buscema.”

Character quotable: “This isn’t Galador, Rom! On Earth, nothing’s free!” – Brandy Clark, teaching Rom some of Earth’s hard lessons

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

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