Review - ROM #1 (@IDWPublishing)

"Who--what--is that?!"

Science fiction would have you believe that there are all sorts of immensely powerful beings in the cosmos. Yet somehow, Earth always ends up being ground zero for them to settle their differences. Generally speaking though, often times for every evil creature that lands on Earth to subjugate it, an equally powerful--yet good--being lands here as well. ROM is the good in ROM #1 from IDW Publishing. The issue is written by Christos Gage and Chris Ryall, illustrated by David Messina, inked by Michele Pasta and lettered by Shawn Lee.

Far, far away, in another galaxy, the knights of the Solstar Order, defenders of justice and truth, have been ambushed by the evil magicians, the Dire Wraiths. The Solstar Order has prevailed and is now seeking out their scattered enemies. One of these knights has followed the trail of the Dire Wraiths all the way to Earth. This one, the Dire Wraiths fear more than all others. This one has hounded them and kept them underground for centuries. This one alone would wipe them off the face of creation.

Gage and Ryall are having a great time with the character and they're not shy about that fact in ROM #1. The dialogue is very peppy and moves quite fluidly from one scene to the next, providing plenty of entertaining exchanges between ROM and anyone he encounters. Because the energy is so frenetic it allows Gage and Ryall to pace the issue very quickly. ROM also gets the chance to showcase all of his trademark equipment (neutralizer, analyzer and universal translator)--courtesy of some snappy writing by Gage and Ryall. What's even more exciting for them (and the reader) is that they get to play around with other Hasbro licenses which means there's the potential for ROM to cross paths with the more famous Transformers or G.I. Joe.

The artwork in ROM #1 feels very polished. Messina's approach gives characters bold, black outlines that match up well with the same black outlines for the panels. ROM looks very imposing as a policing robot and that works as a good foil to Messina's rendering of the Dire Wraiths as alarmingly menacing. There are some instances of violence where ROM tangles with the Dire Wraiths, but Messina presents in a very stylized way that doesn't allow the book to become bogged down in gore. Pasta's ink assist in this as the character detail is given much more emphasis.

ROM #1 offers a very modern take on a classic character. ROM is determined to eradicate the Dire Wraiths, trying his best to ensure humanity isn't collateral damage. The script by Gage and Ryall achieves this very well, effectively presenting all the key players to the reader. Messina's artwork is clean and accented well by Pasta's sharp inks. ROM #1 is a lot of fun and finishes off with a pretty fantastic cliffhanger.

Rom #1 is in stores now.