Issue(s): ROM #54, ROM #55
Now, Rick Jones hasn't even been a member of the cast until now, so bringing him in under such circumstances might seem like we're going for deliberate shock value, but Mantlo was writing Rick in Hulk until recently, and he's actually following up on a plot point from there where Rick - incredibly stupidly - exposed himself to gamma radiation in the hopes of turning himself into a Hulk. So here we see him going into a hospital and learning that he's got cancer (he complains of shaking and memory loss).
In the meantime, we see that ROM and Starshine are now working with SHIELD's ESPer units, and they've detected Dire Wraith activity in the same town as Rick's hospital. The ESPers seem unfortunately especially vulnerable to the Dire Wraith's sorcery...
...so ROM calls in Dr. Strange to help boost them.
The Wraith's plot is to unleash mutated blood into the hospital's blood supply. The blood turns anyone who receives it into a monster.
Rick was up for a blood transfusion but luckily the chaos breaks out before he receives it.
The Space Knights and SHIELD show up at the hospital too late to do anything but kill all the monsters and neutralize the remaining blood. Rick helps out as much as he can...
...but as we'll see in issue #56, he doesn't actually go along with ROM yet.
As always, the plotting on this series is decent but the scripting is way too melodramatic. It's really the awesomeness of the Dire Wraith visuals and Sal Buscema's nice art (he draws a nice generic monster, too) that makes it worth reading.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showDr. Strange, General Merriwether Locklin, Nick Fury, Rick Jones, ROM, Starshine II
What's the motivation behind placing Non-SECRET WARS related titles like ROM and POWER MAN AND IRON FIST in between issues featuring characters returning from Battleworld? Wouldn't all those "return" issues take place at the same time and thus feel more natural being placed back to back?
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 11, 2013 5:13 AM
I've done some minor reshuffling that may help the flow for you, but i essentially have a lot of issues taking place concurrently. ROM and PM&IF have issues that take place during the period where the heroes are away, and i then placed their subsequent issues a natural amount of time afterwards, which fit into the period where the heroes were returning. The "return" issues aren't all so neatly designed to fit directly after Secret Wars #12. Some have the characters returning in the middle of the issue, some (Thor, particularly) just have a brief panel showing the character leaving and then returning. And then some characters - Hulk in particular, and also Spider-Man thanks to the number of books he's in - have a very tight set of appearances directly after Secret Wars. So all of those books are happening concurrently and span a longer period, and i think it makes sense to show what other characters are doing during the same period. So i did shuffle books slightly, but as far as i'm concerned the other books you mention are taking place at the same time as the return issues.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 11, 2013 12:25 PM
At about this time, Amazing Heroes ran a top 10 list of the best comics around. Marvel's placement was: #4-Dr. Strange, #7-Rom, and #10-X-Men. Just to compare, Swamp Thing written by Alan Moore made #8.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 20, 2013 4:41 PM
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