PopCultHQ received advance review copy of ROM: Dire Wraiths TPB from IDW Publishing. Available January 20th, the creative team for this book features writing by Chris Ryall, art from Luca Pizzari, Andrea Pizzari, Ron Joseph, Guy Dorian, Sr., Sal Buscema, Scott Hanna and Maria Keane, colors by Jim Boswell and Ross Campbell, and letters from Shawn Lee.
Here is PopCultHQ’s Spoiler-Free Review of…
ROM: Dire Wraiths TPB
In 1969, two American astronauts became the first humans to set foot on Earth’s moon… but something inhuman is waiting for them!
Seeking to conquer everything in their path, the Dire Wraiths wield powerful dark magicks and can take over the bodies of other creatures shapeshifting into their hosts. The only thing powerful enough to oppose them is Rom the Spaceknight. But, with Rom nowhere in sight, can even the Adventure Team help prevent one giant leap for Dire Wraith-kind or is there no way to stop an invasion of Earth? Only the crew of Earth’s first moon mission and some unexpected guest-stars stand in their way!
Plus, a special back-up story with art by Guy Dorian, Sr. and Rom legend Sal Buscema!
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
ROM: Dire Wraiths TPB
For years, the great vastness of space has beckoned mankind with its promises of new frontiers to traverse and explore. In 1969, three brave men dared to go forth to reach the moon and finally begin the trek to the stars. Yet when humanity reaches out, things reach back. Journey forth and see what will happen when Dire Wraiths threaten not only the success of the first Moon Landing, but all life on Earth itself. Dare to seek adventure within the pages of…Rom: Dire Wraiths.
Writing: Chris Ryall must have been a fan of the original ROM comics once upon a time. For how else could he expertly craft this series that ties one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century into the world of one of comics greatest heroes? Everything about Ryall’s writing is wonderful. His characters are more than simple one-dimensional figures. They have names, personalities, histories. Even the villains feel as though they are solid and real. There are twists and turns throughout the story and hooks not unlike the surprises in a movie to hold the reader’s attention. A storytelling triumph for Chris and one that honors the spirit of the original comics while standing on its own.
Art: Artistically speaking, this entire TPB was gorgeous to look at. Even the most minute details kept, and will keep, readers going. One thing that is noteworthy is the designs for both Dire Wraiths and ROM. They have both been given an artistic upgrade of sorts, not only for the next iteration of the comics, but to make them even more appealing on a visual level to readers both old and new. Every person who contributed art to this TPB has done an amazing job and it shows on every page.
Colors: To say that the color in ROM: Dire Wraiths is spectacular feels like it isn’t enough. The work done by the colorists for this book is literally out of this world. The uniforms of the Adventure-One team, skin tones of the Dire Wraiths, ROM himself, and, of course, the vast expanse of space. All of it is rendered in an awesome color-style that blew the mind of this reviewer. This dynamic team nailed it with their contribution to the TPB.
Letters: Shawn Lee worked wonders as the letterer for this book. A particularly noteworthy thing about the lettering was the way it seemed to ooze villainy and evil with the Wraiths. As if they were truly speaking, working their way into the minds and imaginations of all who pick up this TPB. ROM, on the other hand, his dialogue surges with heroism, courage, and bravery. To be able to capture both the voices of villains and hero, a truly wonderous thing indeed.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
ROM is an enduring character, and not because of the companies that publish him, or even the toys that were made. It is because of the teams that take on the task to chronicle his adventures. If anyone who was a reader of the first ROM comics from way back when, this is the book for you. If you are new to comics and seek adventure, this is the book for you. There is nothing but non-stop action, suspense, and character development throughout. A great get to enjoy over and over.
5 out of 5 Stars
Publisher – IDW Publishing