Classic Heroes Updated Into Nostalgia Inducing Fun

Our Story Thus Far features a comic series that hasn’t completed its current story-arc, but we couldn’t wait to write about it because it’s so good.


rom-4-coverROM #4

Written By: Christos N. Gage & Chris Ryall
Art By: David Messina & Christian Ward
Published: November 2, 2016 by IDM Publishing

As a child of the 1980’s there’s a sense of nostalgia for anything from that era. I still remember two such movies that, to this day, take me back to my childhood: Flight of the Navigator and The Last Starfighter. I bring those up because there are certain aspect of ROM that really dig into those nostalgic feelings. Part of it, of course, comes from the fact that I was reading sporadic issues of ROM , as I found them, in the late 80’s and it was some of my first tastes of comics. Beyond that however, there’s just something innocent and fun about ROM that really just draws me into the character, and I’m always happier after I read it.

A quick intro for those who don’t know about ROM. Basically, he’s a space knight. Now, a legitimate follow up question here would be, “What the crap is a space knight?” The simplest answer to this would be, think of your classic Medieval Times knight, then cram that through classic sci-fi, whammo, you have ROM. Instead of lances and a bow, he has his neutralizer, which is a basically a freakishly strong laser gun. It can also convert into an analyzer allowing him to find those whom he hunts: The Dire Wraiths.

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Now that you’re filled in on the most basic aspect of the story, what I haven’t mentioned is how lovable ROM is in this story. If you ever watched Terminator 2, you’ll remember how Arnold’s character, once the bad guy in Terminator 1, returns as the good guy. He’s a robot, reprogrammed to protect John Conner. However, there’s one giant flaw. This newly programmed terminator has no idea how to function around people. Basically, the entire movie revolves around Arnold either fighting the bad guy, or some awkward moment where Arnold acts weird because he doesn’t understand human ways. In that same way, ROM has become both fearsome and adorable.

In the last few issues we’ve seen ROM seriously beat down some wraiths. He’s nuked a whole town of them, while protecting his human companion Darby Mason, and also while flying to the rescue of Camilla Byers. He’s taken out dozen of wraiths by now, and it appears as though they really don’t stand a chance against our space knight.

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Then of course a major twist takes place, for some reason ROM can no longer tell the difference between the wraiths posing as humans…and actual humans. That’s a real problem when hunting wraiths, while also trying to protect humanity. In fact, I might say there is no bigger problem than that particular one.

From the very beginning, and I’m talking issue one, we’ve been thrown hints that these particular wraiths are acting like none ROM has ever encountered. We’re still not quite given the full story of what’s happening yet, but what we do know is that ROM’s suspicions were correct, and that this group of wraiths are weird. They have technology they shouldn’t have, are able to do stuff no other wraiths have ever been able to do, and there are far more of them than ROM first realized.

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All of this leads us up to issue four wherein our boy ROM has been captured and jailed. It’s during this imprisonment that are mystery of exactly who these wraiths are, and what they’re up to, deepens when the prison holding ROM shouldn’t even exist. Of course, this is a spoiler free zone, but I will say that this issue really solidified the story for me.

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I was enjoying this series, immensely, thus far, but with this issue many of the pieces that were introduced in prior issues are now coming together wonderfully. The best part, the story isn’t slow even though there are things still coming together. There’s enough action and intrigue to carry our characters, while still pulling bits and pieces together. Further still, with the twists introduced there’s an added depth of conflict, and almost a dethroning of ROM as the unstoppable wraith slayer. Then, at the end of this issue there’s a cliffhanger that had me smiling from ear to ear because of how great it is.

Issue five looks like it’s going to be an incredible issue, and as for this science fiction, ROM loving, comic addicted nerd, I am most certainly on this train for the long ride.

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