ROM 23, 1981 “The Thing From Outer Space!”

For anyone that’s never read a ROM comic before, you’re in for a treat. Imagine if you will (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), a cyborg, leaving his home planet to pursue an ancient, malevolent race, that is bent on conquest at any cost. These “Dire Wraiths” are a vicious lot, and not only kill without provocation, they can assume the form of anyone. In this specific issue, we learn that they mimicked the Fantastic Four previously, and also we’ve seen in the past that they’ve replicated many humans, including politicians, and police!

ROM has recently learned that (allegedly) the Wraiths have destroyed much of Galador (ROM’s home planet), and ROM feels he must return to see if this is true and to help rebuild. Along the way, he meets up with two Good Samaritans (Power Man and Iron Fist) that agree to help him get to the Baxter Building to seek the help of the FF in getting him back to his home. There’s only one problem…the media has created an absolute frenzy by reporting that an alien is running amok in the city, so, the National Guard was brought in to contain the matter. And when I say the media, I mean J. Jonah Jameson! It’s up to Luke and Danny to get ROM to the Baxter building, and the only thing standing in their way is a concrete jungle full of police, military, and other assorted crackpots! There’s also a brief cameo by the new superhero on the block, The Torpedo!

Written by “Boisterous” Bill Mantlo, art by “Our Pal” Sal Buscema (pencils) and “Joltin” Joe Sinnott (inks), with colors by Ben Sean, and letters by Rosen and Zalme! The cover is by “Amiable” Al Milgrom!

 

 

Power Man #54, 1978 “Heroes for Hire!”

In many ways, nothing screams the 1970’s more than Power Man and Iron Fist! A bad street dude with impenetrable skin and a millionaire playboy with an affection for martial arts, the perfect combination, no doubt. You get the martial arts craze, plus the blaxploitation angle as well. Quite an awesome mixture! In another great and timely scenario, we see a one-time villain, the Incinerator! Not to mention a quick glimpse of the awesome Thunderer, from Ku’n L’un! Any fan of the more recent Iron Fist series (Brubaker, Fraction, and Aja), knows that name and place very well.

The story, written by Ed Hannigan, is one that covers a lot of ground. By issues end though, you get a feeling that it’s complete. The penciler is an artist I’ve never even heard of, but Lee Elias does a pretty solid job. Inks by Bob Jenny and Ricardo Villamonte, letters by Jean Simek, and colors by F. Mouly, rounds out the creative team. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the totally awesome cover by Keith Pollard (pencils) and Frank Giacoia (inks)!

 

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