This is how most Ancient Greek stories about giants start.
|Publisher||IDW Publishing, Ted Adams|
|First published||January 24, 2018|
|Cover date||January 2018|
|Written by||Christos Gage|
|Art by||Paolo Villanelli|
|Colors by||Alessandra Alexakis|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Editor||Carlos Guzman & David Mariotte|
|Chronology||Current era (2018)|
Entering Microspace to rescue Rom, the Micronauts discover their universe has been invaded by the Dire Wraiths!
Within the Entropy Cloud, Rom defends himself from the Reptos but finds that not only have the creatures been assimilated by the Dire Wraiths, they willingly gave themselves over to the Wraiths. Though Rom fights valiantly, he is overwhelmed by the sheer numbers before the Micronauts arrive to back him up with Biotron and Larissa explaining the enerchanging process to Rom. In the light of a fair fight, the Repto decide to retreat and the heroes take the opportunity to regain their strength. On board the med-bay of the Micronauts' ship, Rom is healed by the rejuvenator before he explains that the enerchange allowed him to glimpse inside Karza's mind for a moment where he learnt of the Entropy Cloud. Biotron explains the Cloud's temporal properties to Rom and the projection that it will devour all of Microspace in 1.4 Earth years. With that final piece of information, the puzzle falls into place for Rom and he explains everything:
Over two centuries prior, the Dire Wraiths invaded Rom's home planet of Elonia killing many citizens and assimilating others, among them Rom's family. Though the Solstar Order fought back valiantly against the invaders, they were outmatched. Until that is, Rom discovered a mysterious ore which lead to the birth of the Space Knights and the destruction of the Dire Wraith homeworld. Though the Space Knights believed themselves on the verge of victory since then, Rom found new horrors on Earth that culminated in a horrific endgame. The Presence. A dark entity whose power could allow the Wraiths to terraform Earth into a new home for their kind and allow them universal conquest. The Presence however can only rise on the "promised day" and the Wraiths sacrificing energy has done little to accelerate the process. The deity will only awaken when the time is right.
As Rom finishes his story, Larissa realizes the endgame as well. The Entropy Cloud's time distorting properties can accelerate time around the Presence so she awakens ahead of schedule while simultaneously ridding Microspace of the threat, leaving it worth Karza's efforts to conquer. Biotron realizes that for such a plan to work, there must be another portal between Microspace and Rom's reality from which the Cloud's energies will be funnelled, doubtlessly the "Stronghold" the Repto mentioned. To track their foes, Rom links his Energy Analyzer into the ship's systems and the group rockets off to the source of the Wraith-taint.
Some time later, the Analyzer upgrades have been finalized and though Phen wishes for Rom to rest, Acroyear calls him away to learn about enerchanging. After witnessing the extremely unsubtle sexual tension between Acroyear and Phen, Rom advises Acroyear to pursue their mutual feelings. Acroyear disagrees, showing Rom his monstrous face and that he can only exist for brief periods without his faceplate. This means little to Rom who faces the same dilemma regarding his own armor and how the armor's coldness seemingly spread to Livia's heart. For two centuries, Rom has been without companionship and encourages Acroyear to not waste the chance for happiness that has presented itself before him. But then again it's been two hundred years since Rom has been engaged in a romance so maybe he's not the best person to take advice from.
In a different part of the ship, Larissa launches into her explanation. Enerchanging is a bond on the molecular level normally done with a weapon or a tool. What makes Karza's mastery of the craft so horrifying is that he performs forced enerchanges on unwilling participants. Promising to work up to that, Larissa demonstrates the power of the craft by accessing a centaur form of her own before switching back to normal. Machines however do not need the practice of organics as they can simply download codes to master enerchange, a feat that Larissa hopes Rom's armor can replicate to speed up the process. As his armor begins the download, Rom asks why Larissa makes no use of her own centaur form who reveals she refrains from using it in the fear that her teammates will associate her more with Baron Karza. Rom disagrees, for in the short time he has known her and her father, he is convinced they are nothing alike. Though touched, Larissa has seen other futures that are enough of a deterrent to not access the centaur form.
The ship soon arrives at its destination and is near immediately beset upon by a Hornetroid now sporting a Wraith flair. Acroyear is unfazed by the monster and charges in, cleaving off tentacles before attacking the cockpit. Inside however is nothing but more Wraith tentacles that attack Acroyear before a Neutralizer blast saves him and slays the beast. Ahead of the group looms a Wraith-infected asteroid upon which a green pyramidal structure is channeling the energies of the Entropy Cloud. Before the horror of the sight can be fully processed however, Acroyear sprouts Wraith aspects and attacks Phen. Materializing his blade, Rom meets Acroyear's challenge swearing to end his suffering...by any means necessary.
Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|Micronauts||Dire Wraiths||Space Knights||Others|
"You two are exactly alike. Always so stoic. Always pushing yourselves to the the limit. The "Warrior Code". Well I'm bored to death of it. Next time we hit civilization, I'm taking you both out drinking.."
"We...do not have mouths."
"I'll get the booze in you by any means necessary."
- -Phen and Acroyear flirt.
"Then again, the last time I kissed a woman was two centuries ago. So, it is entirely possible I am speaking out of my exhaust port. Fare you well, my friend."
- -Don't take romantic advice from Rom kids.
"And I vow this to you, Acroyear—I will end your suffering...by any means necessary."
- -Rom vs Acroyear. Round 1.
- Biotron explains the Entropy Cloud to Rom and Oziron Rael becoming a Time Traveler to aid the evolved beings in fixing the Cloud but notes that it will take time to abate the Cloud fully. All of which happened in Wrath of Karza #5.
- In the flashback, Rom gives a brief recap of his series from the 2017 annual all the way to ROM #14.
- The destruction of the Dire Wraith homeworld was established in Shining Armor #1.
- Last issue, D'rge explained to Karza that the Presence was not sleeping beneath the Earth in the technical sense of the words before he was cut off. Here we learn that she in fact exists in another dimension with the portal to her realm being beneath the Earth's crust.
- When speaking to Acroyear, Rom mentions his old romance with Livia and how the Wraith/Solstar war caused it to fall apart.
- Larissa flashes back to the Micronauts annual and her alternate future counterpart who had embraced her relationship to Karza and Shazraella.
Hasbro franchise references
- On Subscription Cover A, Rom and Karza are lovingly rendered in the style of their original toys.
- The Micronauts' new ship (which still looks nothing like the Astro Station craft from First Strike one-shots) goes from looking like it did in the previous issue on panel 4 of page 5 but then looks like Duck Dodgers's ship in the next panel and remains that way.
- Butin's (or at least we think it's her) armor is bright green when it's normally a more subdued mint green.
- Rom refers to his armor as "living metal". Previous issues have consistently referred to it as a crystalline ore.
- We don't blame you if you missed it last issue since he never received a close-up, but Biotron has undergone a slight redesign in that he now has a more human and organic like face. It is horrifying. On every level.
- Regular cover: Rom crouches over the Micronauts, by Juan Samu.
- Subscription cover A: Rom and Baron Karza face-off, by Jeffrey Veregge.
- Subscription cover B: Rom and the Micronauts fly upwards, by S.L. Gallant.