“Only my neutralizer awaits you all!”
Welcome, all. This is D.C. Kay and I have been swamped with reading new and old books, but I’m still surprised it took me so long to throw down on IDW Publication’s Rom #1.
This is only my third go at IDW Publications, my first being the novel adaptation The Last Unicorn (a somewhat complicated book that didn’t quite satisfy me). Second was the new Action Man miniseries (a very interesting take on a brash, intelligent and imperfect character).
I’m so new to IDW and have no idea what to expect, outside my excitement with the upcoming event Revolution, which is supposed to finally bring IDW’s Hasbro characters together into a cohesive universe. After checking out the Valiant revival, I share the same optimism here.
So, what better time to explore IDW?
Rom, like his Marvel Comics incarnation, is a spaceknight and the scourge of the magic-wielding Dire Wraiths.
Writers Christos Gage and Chris Ryall really hit the ground running with Rom’s arrival on Earth. Quickly on, you already get a feel that Rom’s fight will go badly, what with Earth’s military and earth defense forces already infiltrated by the Dire Wraiths. From there on, there is just moment after moment of “what the hell?!” panels, right down to the final page–definitely a pleasant surprise for any Hasbro toy fan.
If Rom was a badass in the past, I can definitely see the appeal. It is obvious that he vastly outnumbered and not up-to-date on the Dire Wraiths’ abilities or methodology. Still, he has confidence that borders on hubris, and the power to back it up. Will his personality be a flaw that puts him in dire straits later? I wonder.
Rom’s speech is reminiscent of the poetically campy dialogue from the silver age of comics. At first it sounded a little silly, but I quickly grew into it. It works for the alien. The dialogue everywhere else works just well, with humans who are scrambling with not only Rom’s presence, but the realization that there are aliens masquerading as humans. At first I felt the humans were too easily accepting of the concept of aliens, but then I remembered the Transformers existing in this universe.
Speaking of working…David Messina’s art. It feels like it’s the first time I’m seeing Messina’s smooth pencils and lush colors, and I enjoyed it. He is building a strong cast, and does a very good job capturing emotion in his cast of characters, even in conveying Rom’s expressions with his eyes. Messina’s landscape art is somewhat minimal, but his colors make the world very enjoyable to see. He really pushes the detail when it matters in Rom’s design, showing off the Dire Wraiths’ magics, and character designs.
Rom #1 is an action-packed introduction that really entertains. Little backstory is given as to Rom and his motivations and war with the Dire Wraiths, so I hope Christos Gage and Chris Ryall delve into this further in later issues. As a new reader to Rom, I would like to see much of the character’s background and how he will develop. With David Messina providing the art, this series is off to a promising start.
This restart of the classic Marvel character definitely gets a thumbs up.