April 1, 2006

ROM #68 [1985]

Surprisingly, ROM is probably the second longest run (in page count) that Ditko ever had on a character, drawing the last 17 issues of the series, as well as an annual, from 1984 to 1986 (I'm pretty sure 419 pages beats his Captain Atom total), all with Bill Mantlo, writer of the series from jump street. The run is also interesting because it was very much an "inker of the month" thing, with a dozen inkers over the course of 18 stories (P. Craig Russell did five scattered issues, no one else did more than two). Unfortunately part of the run had among the worst printing Marvel ever subjected us to, so you can't judge some of the inkers fairly.

Anyway, #68 has the story "Ad Infinitum", a 23-page story inked by Brett Breeding. This is a single issue story with ROM flying through space, following the end of his long war against the Dire Wraiths, and encountering a group of humans who are in a war against robots they created who turned on them and exiled them from their homeworld. ROM, being half-human/half-robot, tries to intercede in the conflict and convince the two sides to live in peace...

And completely fails, witnessing helplessly as they destroy each other. That was a pretty cool ending. A pretty fun book, far from any sort of high art, but a lot more interesting than a book based on a toy should be.

I liked Breeding's inks on this, solid, very clearly Ditko and very nice on the flying in space bits. Ditko did some nice design work on the design of the alien world and robots.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently there's a fundraiser going on for Rom writer Bill Mantlo, who suffered head trauma in an accident and is now in his brother's care.

    Info on the benefit book is over at http://www.sleepinggiantcreations.com/sgc-mantlo-main.html

    There's also an address for anyone wanting to send letters/ Chistmas cards/etc to the family:

    APT 12-E
    NEW YORK, NY 10025

    I wonder if Ditko and Mantlo ever met? Their collaboration on the Micronauts annual (#1) was a BRILLIANT prequel to the original, self-contained 11-issue storyline.

    Say a prayer for the guy.

    --Claude Flowers



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