Earthfall: Part Two
"Come on, man, I just polished my armor."
|"Earthfall": Part Two|
|Publisher||IDW Publishing, Ted Adams|
|First published||August 24, 2016|
|Cover date||August 2016|
|Written by||Chris Ryall and Christos Gage|
|Art by||David Messina|
|Inks by||Michele Pasta|
|Color assist by||Alessandra Alexakis|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
As Rom begins his hunt for the Dire Wraiths on Earth, he finds that danger lurks everywhere on this new world.
After rescuing her from her Dire Wraith-infected family, Rom takes Darby Mason back to her home in Cooper's Mill. Darby begins to break down, wondering how much of her life was actually real. Rom comforts her, saying that while the Wraiths may have taken her family, they can never take away the love she felt for them. After calming down, Darby tries to put Rom in touch with her commanding officer, but Rom destroys her computer, warning that he may already be a Wraith. Darby asks Rom if her "father" was trying to replace her as well; Rom confirms that he tried, but was unable to, which Rom finds curious. As the two discuss what to do next, Wraith tendrils spring from Darby's computer to attack them, while outside the house is surrounded by Wraiths. Rom flies them out, converting his Neutralizer to its ultimate form in order to destroy the entire town, save for Darby's house. Darby looks on in horror, though Rom tells her it is necessary to stopping the spread of the plague that are the Dire Wraiths.
The two fly off, with Rom needing somewhere to recharge after using so much of his Neutralizer's power. As they fly, Rom tells her that they will need other members of Earth's military to aid them in their fight... only for Darby to inform him that there is no central authority for the planet, something that surprises the Space Knight. Darby takes him to Blind-Eye Cave, a secret hangout spot she and her friends had as kids. As Rom sits to relax, he expresses that when he is tired is when he feels the most human, prompting Darby to asks if he actually is a human. Rom says that, by all standards, he was.
Rom was born on the planet Elonia, a peaceful, paradise of a world... until the Dire Wraiths invaded. To combat them, Rom joined a peacekeeping force called the Solstar Order, becoming one of their elite Space Knights to protect his world and others. However, the Dire Wraiths were still able to infiltrate and destroy Elonia; the Space Knights ultimately triumphed, but at great cost. The Solstar Order have been hunting the Wraiths throughout space for the past 200 years.
Rom notes, however, that the Wraiths tactics on Earth are different than their past invasions. Before he can speculate further, he senses an inhuman presence nearby, leaving Darby in the cave to go investigate.
Elsewhere, Scarlett argues with General Joe Colton about his orders to go to Utah instead of pursuing the alien exo-suited killer in Cooper's Mill. Colton insists that it is a local problem, and they need to focus their attention on a situation with global ramifications. When Scarlett says they can't just ignore the exo-suit, Colton says that they're not. He's already sent an "elite unit" to Cooper's Mill, where said finds the lone Darby Mason in Blind-Eye Cave.
Meanwhile, Camilla Byers is being pursued by a group of "Wraith Stalkers", hearing their thoughts in her head as they chase her. Before they can attack, Camilla is saved by Rom, who makes quick work of the creatures with his Neutralizer. Rom introduces himself to Camilla before spotting the Wraith-mark on her. Rom raises his Neutralizer against her, apologizing for hero infection. However, before he can fire, he is interrupted by a group of soldiers, whom his Analyzer identifies as human. The soldiers fire on Rom and Camilla wonders what kind of killer robot he is. Rom clarifies that he isn't a robot, and that he does not kill humans. Camilla is confused as to why Rom can't see what she can: there's nothing human about them! The Wraiths emerge, with a Wraith Sorcerer binding Rom with magic as he taunts the Space Knight. Realizing his Analyzer failed him, Rom worries that he falls now, Earth will follow.
Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|Space Knights||Dire Wraiths||Humans||Others|
"I know they're monsters, but this... It's horrible."
"Yes. And necessary. The Wraiths have chosen to embrace the dark arts. They have sacrificed all you would consider humanity for power. Think not of them as sentient beings. They are a plague, to be eradicated."
- —While Darby Mason watches a Wraith horde burn, Rom justifies his extreme methods.
"What kind of a killer alien robot are you, anyway?"
"I am... neither robot... nor killer... of any human."
"Human? If I can see it, why can't you? There's nothing human about those guys!"
- —Camilla Byers meets Rom.
- The second half of the Revolution prelude story "Secret Raiders" is printed in the back of this issue.
- Darby mentions that people have "started getting used to the idea of alien robots", referring to the events of the Transformers series.
- Rom's memories show several of his fellow Space Knights, most of whom would be named in the 2017 ROM Annual.
- While the last issue ended with G.I. Joe being called in to deal with Rom, this issue sees Joe Colton ordering Scarlett to deal with a more pressing situation in Utah, leading into their appearance in Transformers #56.
- The major characters list refers to the Earth Defense Command as the "Earth Defense Corps".
- One of the Solstar Order personnel seen in Rom's memories seems to have been drawn as a Dire Wraith.
- Regular cover: Close-up of Rom's face, reflecting a soldier firing on him, by Zach Howard and Nelson Daniel
- Subscription cover A: Rom holds the Earth and Moon in his hands, by Mike Allred and Laura Allred.
- Subscription cover B: Rom lands on an alien planet, by Bob Layton and Mike Cavallero.
- Subscription cover C: Modern Rom action figure, by Adam Riches.
- Retailer incentive cover: Photo of the Mighty Muggs Rom vinyl figure, by Jack Rivera.