Synopsis: Rom continues to search out Dire Wraiths on Earth – and uncovers a plot to free his mortal enemies from limbo!
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Penciler: Sal Buscema
The Dire Wraith menace appears to have sleeper agents everywhere: the U.S. military, the Senate, even S.H.I.E.L.D. So, when they need to recruit a human to battle Rom, it’s obvious their best candidate is … run-of-the-mill robber Archie Stryker? Umm, OK. This use of Stryker takes a little willful suspension of disbelief but, once accomplished, writer Bill Mantlo delivers another solid issue. The Wraiths’ use of a fallen spaceknight’s armor against Rom provides some nice human pathos for our cyborg hero. On the art side, Sal Buscema delivers his typical mix of clean storytelling and energetic figure work.
Cool factor: Check out that Miller and Austin cover. That Bronze Age combination didn’t happen nearly enough!
Not-so-cool factor: Yeah, still having a problem with that Stryker guy.
Notable: With a Parker Brother ad for the Rom toy and two house ads for the Rom comic (a full-page and a strip ad) in this issue, one gets the sense the powers-that-be are serious about this series succeeding. … This issue also contains “A Marvel Masterwork Pin-Up” of Rom by Al Milgrom. Reportedly, this pin-up was an earlier iteration of the cover to Rom #1.
“Wreackers of chaos! Devils from the Dark Nebula! I am here to thwart your evil designs!”Rom, spaceknight, who seriously dislikes the Dire Wraiths
Published and © by Marvel, February 1980
Cover by Frank Miller and Terry Austin