Writer: Christos Gage & Chris Ryall
Artist: David Messina
Colorist: David Messina
Cover: J. H. Williams III
IDW has been teasing the return of the original Space Knight for some time and now that day is finally here! The Dire Wraiths have quietly invaded our planet using their shapeshifting abilities and chicanery. However, the arrival of their longtime enemy, Rom, brings along a new set of problems for them. Rom just isn’t any enemy to the Dire Wraiths, he is THE enemy and their greatest opposition.
It’s been a while since Rom has graced the pages of a comic but Gage and Ryall cater to both longtime and potential new fans to make this an impressive first issue. His entrance sets up his mission and gives artist, David Messina a chance to show off some of the new look for our main character. Soon into the story, Gage and Ryall raise the stakes even higher than expected by showing how deep the infiltration has gone. With the Dire Wraiths already having a substantial foothold, Rom is going to have an uphill battle on his hands. Though we do see that during the action sequences that Rom is more than capable of handling himself. It is during some of these scenes where some of Rom’s dialogue seems to not have caught up with the current times. There are moments where he comes off a little dated which may or may not sit well with some readers. However, once he’s finished explaining various weapons while fighting things play out a little easier. We’re also introduced to Darby who is a soldier currently on leave and working through her PTSD. She’s a bit of a wildcard here as Ryall and Gage hint at a special ability of hers which will be interesting to see how it comes into play later in the series.
David Messina’s art was mentioned earlier and after you open the book and see his pages your eyes will gladly shake your hand thank you. He has updated Rom’s look and if no one else will, I will GLADLY thank him for getting rid of the flipper hands of old. Rom’s new look is still mostly kept in line with the original but the added bits of detail and tech just enhances everything. From the extra “eyes” that appear on his gauntlets while he’s scanning for Dire Wraiths to the weapons systems coming on line Rom looks ready for action. The Dire Wraiths themselves are redesigned and just as ugly in their true form as ever. The rest of the issue looks fantastic and he moves the narrative and hits some really good beats along the way.
Gage and Ryall end the issue with a huge and unexpected cliffhanger already which hints at some other announcements that have been made from IDW! So if you were on the fence about giving this title a chance I’d suggest you get out there and pick this one up. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new reader or a longtime fan of the character because the creative team made sure that it’s enjoyable for both!