Issue(s): ROM #50
...and it turns out they're actually hunting Dire Wraiths, because Wraiths are a deviant branch of Skrulls that the Skrulls feel responsible for.
The word deviant is actually used, but due to the fact that all comic book text is in capital letters, i'm not sure if they just mean deviant or actually Deviant, i.e., opposite of Eternals. I vaguely recall that somewhere it's theorized that while the Kree are the Eternal strain of their species, the Skrulls are the Deviant strain of theirs (This is all based on the idea that the Celestials travel around to every world and experiment on the dominant species, leaving Eternals, Deviants, and baselines). So that would seem to suggest that the Dire Wraiths aren't Deviant versions of Skrulls, just deviant versions of Skrulls. On the other hand, i could be thinking way too hard about this; no actual reference to any of the Eternals stuff is made in this issue. Update: We will get some clarification on this in 1987's Silver Surfer #5.
The Skrulls help ROM and Starshine wipe out a large group of Dire Wraiths that have taken over the town of Clairton, the town that has been the setting for much of ROM's issues.
The Wraiths have wiped out most of the town, including Brandy/Starshine's family, and the local super-hero Torpedo.
ROM and Starshine had been trapped in a shadow-dimension, but i guess Starshine's hatred of Wraiths is so strong that she receives a power-up that lets her find the way back to Earth.
Starshine is really overcome with anger, and she actually kills Dire Wraiths that she attacks, not like ROM who just banishes them to Limbo.
I have to say her old look is so goofy that i kind of prefer it.
After eliminating the Dire Wraiths, the Skrulls head home. It's a little odd that they came all the way to Earth just to kill some of the Dire Wraiths, but it is mentioned that they've received a mayday message from home, and maybe they figure that since ROM is already on Earth taking care of the Wraiths they can leave him to it.
This is a double-sized ($1!) 50th issue of ROM, and it's also Assistant Editors' Month, which means that we get a cutesy one page back-up with ROM and Starshine as a stereotypical 1960s era husband and wife. Love the toaster gag, which was apparently a running joke in the Marvel offices at the time.
Interesting from a historical perspective. From a writing perspective, it's typical Mantlo. Not bad but a bit tedious. And i'll always like Sal Buscema's art.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Crossover: Assistant Editors' Month
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showDanny Jones, Lorry Jones, Nell Jones, ROM, Starshine II, Tammy Anne Jones, Torpedo
I'm guessing the typical Skrulls were the baseline, the Dire Wraiths the Deviants, and the Eternals on the Skrull world never got revealed.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 1, 2011 11:43 PM
Over the course of the '80s it's revealed that the Skrulls we know are all Deviants of their species. In the '90s series Blackwulf, which only I and three other people read, we see a supposedly baseline Skrull, who looks like a traditional big head, round eyes "Grey," only he's green and, I think, has a Skrull chin. Apparently a Skrull Eternal shows up in Secret Invasion, but that's after my time.
So Wraiths as small-d deviants would be the simplest explanation, but that doesn't necessarily make it Marvel's canonical explanation.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 27, 2013 11:12 PM
I'm glad Torpedo was killed off instead of retiring or simply disappearing from the book. Throughout the series he was shown to be a very poor superhero. It's more realistic that someone who isn't very good at a job that requires putting themselves in harm's way would meet with a tragic end.
Posted by: Robert | April 7, 2015 4:37 AM
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