Issue(s): ROM #21, ROM #22
These issues introduce the Torpedo to the cast of ROM's book. He was attacked by some new Rocketeers in his home and so, with his secret identity compromised, he quit his job at Delmar Insurance and moved his family to Clairton, West Virginia where he's going to take a job as a football coach. His wife isn't aware of his secret identity but is supportive of the move.
And the choice of Clairton is completely coincidental, which i think is really lazy writing.
In issue #21 Torpedo assumes that ROM is a new type of Rocketeer, so they get into a Misunderstanding Fight.
And in issue #22 ROM helps fight off the new Rocketeers.
The Torpedo knew something was suspicious when he first fought these new Rocketeers and they disintegrated when he killed them, and it's confirmed that they are are Dire Wraiths.
We learn that Torpedo's suit and the Rocketeers' are Dire Wraith attempts to replicate Galadorian armor. And that Senator Stivak, aka Kligger, was a servant of the Wraiths. Which, if true, really demands a deeper explanation, because Kligger was also working for the Corporation. Was the Corporation really a Wraith front? Was Kligger working for two separate groups?
We also learn that Byron Benjamin, the head of Delmar Insurance, was a Wraith.
It's worth noting that Benjamin was the guy that was all too happy to give Machine Man a job. It's not definite from this scene that Benjamin was always a Wraith, but the MCP lists him here under the same entry as all his other appearances so that seems to be the case.
The Benjamin Wraith kills himself at the end of issue #22.
The Torpedo is a former football pro, and Mantlo gives him god-awful dialogue like "I'm plowing through them like a defensive tackle through tissue paper! But I can't let them score a single point -- not when the lives of Lorry and the kids are at stake.".
I also want to point out that he kind of sucks.
I mean, he's not a very interesting a character to start with. But he's also pretty ineffective against the Rocketeers compared to ROM. This is important because it's the arrival of the Torpedo in Clairton that convinces ROM it's ok for him to go back to Galador (never mind the rest of the world, Clairton is safe). This will turn out to be a disaster for the people of Clairton. Really, the fact that Torpedo can't detect Dire Wraiths when they are transformed should have given ROM pause. But he's also just not that great a super-hero.
The back-ups in these issues have Terminator fighting his way past Galador's angel soldiers...
...to claim ROM's human bits from cold storage (why is ROM the only one to not have both a civilian and Spaceknight name?). This takes place 200 years in the past, but is a set-up for ROM #25.
ROM is in love with Brandy Clark at this point.
Earlier in the series, ROM had said that he'd never let his love of Ray-Na die, but she's been forgotten since it was revealed in issue #13 that she died.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: ROM next appears in Power Man & Iron Fist #73.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showByron Benjamin, Danny Jones, Eddie Harris, John Clark, Lorry Jones, Maggie Jones, Nell Jones, Pamela Quinn, ROM, Sarah Clark, Silas Lane, Starshine II, Steve Jackson, Tammy Anne Jones, Torpedo
I think we're supposed to assume that Stivak was working for two separate groups, not that the Corporation was a Wraith front. Moonstone, Power Broker and Vamp are all clearly supposed to be human.
Posted by: Michael | July 12, 2013 9:22 PM
I thought it could be suggesting that the highest levels of the Corporation were Dire Wraiths, even if they utilized human agents like Stivak and the others.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 13, 2013 12:44 PM
The angel soldiers are dressed too much like DC's Hawkman.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 13, 2013 3:34 PM
FNORD - my guess on RON's single name is he was the first one to wear the armor. Perhaps to protect any future volunteers, they chose a codename to protect their identity.
Posted by: clyde | February 24, 2015 6:13 PM
Comments are now closed.
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