IDW Publishing 2016
Plot & Script by Christos Gage & Chris Ryall
Pencils & Colours by David Messina
Inks by Michele Pasta
Colour Assists by Alessandra Alexakis
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 could wipe them off the face of creation.
As what I like to call the build-up stage continues we pick up right where we left off with Rom and Darby. I like that this isn’t a book that bang it’s all in it’s more of a slower build as Rom has to figure out how Earth operates and what it’s people are like. That he recognizes that he also needs allies who are more familiar with how things here work mean that he needs to take time to get to know people and build trust. Which is exactly what he’s doing with Darby though it seems like he’s pushing a bit and then holding back as he realises from his own past what it was like when the Wraith came to his world.
The boys are doing some very fine characterization here. I like that they are getting to know one another and that regardless of being military herself that Darby is freaked out to nth degree here. She’s just lost her family and learned aliens have infiltrated Earth so it’s a lot to take in and she’s doing a lot better than most people would be given the same circumstances. Also that her father tried to infect her and she was able to resist that points to Darby having something akin to a natural immunity to the Wraith. So that avenue will need to be explored as the story continues.
Thankfully it’s not all bonding and special moments as the Wraith do attack and force the pair to flee to somewhere safe. I liked this because it means that Rom isn’t all powerful and like anything he needs time to recharge the energies that power him. So trusted allies when he’s in that phase are definitely a must. It’s also a great opportunity for us to learn about his past and how the Wraith came to his world and how he became a Space Knight.
Meanwhile we also get a chance to see what’s happening with the Joe’s as Countdown tries to get them back to base instead of going after Rom. We also see Camilla again as she wanders around being stalked by Wraith Stalkers. This is a nice way of reuniting her with Rom and showing us more variations of the Wraith. As we continue to learn about them and realise just how dangerous they truly are.
The interiors are very much along the high end animation feel to me. With heavy lines and outlines to go along with some softer ones. The flow through the pages is nice and it’s easy to follow thanks to the use of panels. I’m one that likes to see more backgrounds so that the larger picture of every panel shows us the full mood, tone and feel of what’s happening. Honestly i’m not sure I like the Colourform’s effect that we get around a lot this issue, remember those toys that were like stickers to create scenes?.
Parts of this feel safe but the way the pace at which is moving is good. I like the slower let’s get settled, think this through and do it the right way instead charging in guns ablazing. Plus the characterization is extremely good. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when we really get into the thick of things.