ROM Annual 2017
Writer(s): Christos Gage & Chris Ryall
Artist: David Messina
Colorist(s): Alessandra Alexakis & David Messina
Cover: David Messina
We’re going way back in this stand alone origin story that opens up and finally puts a face to the legendary Space Knight! He’s got an actual face mind you and that’s not the only surprise thrown in here for those longtime Rom fans.
As far as origin stories go this is one that hits several great points that give you a better understanding of who Rom was before becoming a Space Knight. Though the theme of direct family loss driving the hero is a familiar one, Gage and Ryall do a wonderful job of keeping the story engaging and fresh. From character interactions to the pacing it’s a sci-fi story with heart, action, and purpose. However, it would have been nice to spend a little more time with Rom’s family. They were the only characters that came off as fodder even though I enjoyed how they were portrayed. For those hardcore fans, Gage and Ryall also reveal the origin of the armor worn by the Space Knights which answers some questions raised in the ongoing series regarding how they function. There are changes from what fans of the previous iteration may remember but everything makes sense and the writers do just as much to honor what came before while making something new and fun for everyone.
Series artist David Messina continues to craft one of the most visually cool comics on the shelf along with colorist Alessandra Alexakis. They provide a great amount of high quality detail in both the character designs and backgrounds which is consistent from start to finish. So if you’ve been impressed with the visuals in the ongoing then you’ll be satisfied with what we get here. There’s even a nod to the original Rom design from the 80s that is skillfully put into the story as well. Also going to give a huge thumbs up for J.K. Woodard’s variant cover as well!
This creative team has breathed new life into Rom and helped make the series one of the must read sci-fi titles in comics. So if you have yet to begin the series I’d suggest picking up this one. It’s reminiscent of what comic book annuals used to be and why they were so good in the first place.