Long Roads to Ruin, Part 1
We three Knights of Elonia are
|"Long Roads to Ruin, Part 1"|
|Publisher||IDW Publishing, Ted Adams|
|Published in||ROM #11|
|First published||June 7, 2017|
|Cover date||May 2017|
|Written by||Chris Ryall & Christos Gage|
|Pencils by||David Messina|
|Inks by||Michele Pasta|
|Colors by||Alessandra Alexakis|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Editorial assistant||David Mariotte|
Rom's war against the Wraiths takes a dark turn as he's forced to fight alone against both the returning, far more dangerous, Axiom, and a dual threat from the ocean depths...Scylla and Charybdis!
In high orbit above Earth, Rom reflects on the beauty of the planet and how it must be preserved and protected. Livia disagrees seeing only the Wraith infestation. Their scan complete, the two Space Knights reunite with Orphion who finds Earth beyond help and reiterates his belief in destroying it. Rom reiterates that the planet need not die but says the Knights should split up to better combat the Wraiths and volunteers to explore unusual energy readings in the Mediterranean Sea. Orphion approves and assigns Livia to aid Rom while he explores the United States' 37th parallel. Though Livia objects, Rom agrees to partner with her in the hopes he can help her find her old self. As he watches his subordinates fly off, Orphion reflects that Rom can rediscover the benefits of a partner while leaving him free to attend to his true business on Earth...
In Providence, Rhode Island, Ruan Sablik and Darby Mason prepare to break into a Dire Wraith facility and steal the device that can tell Wraiths and humans apart. Ruan's strength proves more than enough for the door and he assumes the form of a Wraith Hawk to retrieve the device as Darby holds off the ground forces. While Ruan retrieves the device, the security system around it claims his life and Darby thanks him for his companionship as she catches their prize. The severed hand of a deceased Space Knight, with the Analyzer intact.
Arriving off the coast of Sicily, Rom reflects on how he thought being away from Orphion would be good for Livia. Alas, she is just as bloodthirsty as ever, Orphion having been her voice of reason. To Rom's joy however, even as she dives towards a cruise ship, her targets are only the Wraiths aboard and she bears no malice to the humans. Her Analyzer leads her to two Wraiths masquerading as an elderly couple enjoying a retirement.
At the Pismo Beach medical center, two Dire Wraiths in the form of police officers come to eliminate the comatose Camilla Byers. When they enter however, they find her fully conscious. In a panic, Camilla's amputated arm suddenly regrows to a massive size with a distinct Wraith like flair and she manages to best the two Wraiths. Unwilling to be a test subject for either Wraiths or humans, Camilla uses the massive arm to repel down and out of the hospital while wondering if the arm can become smaller.
Seeing that Livia is simply going to execute the Wraiths, Rom hoists her skyward, gives her a scolding for placing the battle above the war and, after spying on the two Wraiths with his Translator, snipes them to death with his Neutralizer and tells Livia they can now wait for the Wraith reinforcements and eliminate even more hostiles. No sooner has his sentence been completed that massive tentacles arise to grab the two Knights and drag them beneath the waves with a whirlpool beginning to form.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|Space Knights||Dire Wraiths||Humans|
"Good. You have been alone too long Rom. It's time you rediscovered the benefits of a partner. Now go..and leave me to my true business here."
- —Orphion, being all foreboding.
- Camilla was sent to the hospital in issue #7 to recover from Orphion expunging the Wraith presence from her body. But as he himself said in issue #6 he's unfamiliar with human biology and unclear if he got it all out. This issue thus shows he purged the Wraith mind but not the Wraith powers.
- Last issue, Ruan mentioned to Darby that the Wraiths had in their possession a device that could tell apart Wraiths from human taken from a fallen Space Knight. This issue reveals it to be the Analyzer (well, a severed hand with the Analyzer still attached) of a Knight.
- Rom is glad to leave America so as to be away from the Cybertronians and G.I. Joe referencing his experiences with the two parties in Revolution and issue #7 respectively.
- As established in issue #7, it takes two Analyzers to do a full scan of a planet and determine the extent of the Wraith infection.
- Though unnamed, the device the Space Knight arm is kept in is a dimensional binding prism first seen in issue #4.
- As shown in G.I. Joe vol. 5 #5, sudden surges of emotion can cause Wraiths (or half human Wraiths) to inadvertently call upon their Wraith aspects.
Real world references
- Scylla and Charybdis are, of course, named after the famous monsters of The Odyssey. In the context of the story however, they seem to be the inspiration for the Greek myth.
- Scylla and Charybdis are unnamed in the issue. Their names come from the publicity blurb.
- Despite being mentioned in the blurb, Axiom doesn't actually appear.