ROM: First Strike
Why is Microtron never featured on covers?
|Publisher||IDW Publishing, Ted Adams|
|First published||October 18, 2017|
|Cover date||October 2017|
|Written by||Christos Gage|
|Art by||Chris Panda|
|Colors by||David Garcia Cruz|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Chronology||Current era (2017)|
Rom and the Micronauts join forces to combat the threat of the Dire Wraiths and inspire more sinister alliances.
Convinced that the Micronauts are Dire Wraiths, Rom fires a Neutralizer blast forcing the tiny heroes to scatter. Acroyear has little patience for what he believes to be the Space Knight suffering a mental breakdown and promptly cleaves the Neutralizer in twain. Though Phen is surprised that the weapon's destruction causes Rom pain, the Knight responds with Neutralizer lasers from his eyes, striking the Micronauts' ship. Biotron however gets Rom to stand down by appealing to logic. If Rom's Energy Analyzer is so infallible, surely it will detect that Biotron is a purely inorganic being. And if Biotron is inorganic, then how can he be a Wraith? Conceding Biotron's point, Rom stands down...just as Acroyear drives his blade into Rom's chest felling him. Fortunately the weapon is too small to reach Rom's organic body and a second Analyzer scan shows the Wraith-taint has not merged with the Micronauts' genome. Reabsorbing his fallen Neutralizer, Rom burns the Wraith genetics off his miniature allies before they sit down to compare notes. Rom is soon convinced of the threat and, unwilling to wait for the Micronauts' ship to recharge, simply grabs the small craft and rockets off.
Back in the sewers, the Analyzer reveals the Wraith Sorcerers have left but that the airborne virus has been refined. After Rom deals with those unfortunate enough to have been in the sewer, the group heads off on the trail of the Wraiths. At a carnival the next day, D'rge and a fellow Wraith prepare to unleash the virus from atop a ferris wheel only for Rom and the Micronauts to streak in. Though Rom slays the acolyte, the virus has been released. Biotron uses his airflow system to draw in the virus in the hopes of containing it but the magic flowing through it affords it a crude sentience and it breaks free of his chest. Though Phen, Acroyear, and Microtron attempt to slay it, its microscopic nature allows for near-instant regenerative properties and it continues to grow. Larissa takes charge of the situation and envelops the virus in a forcefield, instructing Rom to destroy it. Though the Neutralizer proves able, the act leaves Rom open to a magical barrage and he falls rudderless. Confident that his foe is no more and the virus can be recreated, D'rge attacks the Micronauts but their previous encounter has taught Larissa enough about magic that she was able to alter their forcefields to resist its energies. The Microanuts swarm the Sorcerer where Biotron reveals that the portion of the virus within him has allowed him to synthesize an antidote. An antidote which he will surely share with the humans. In a rage, D'rge makes his escape swearing revenge on the Micronauts. The immediate threat passed, Rom and the Micronauts go their separate ways though promising they will always be ready to answer the other's call for help, something that gives them an advantage over their foes.
In a hidden location, D'rge and another Sorcerer are approached by Baron Karza, who slays the latter. D'rge is prepared to slay Karza for his past betrayal but the Baron scoffs as he is fully aware the Wraiths were going to betray him as well and that their goals were incompatible. Now however, they can help each other. Curiosity piqued, D'rge shrinks down to Karza's size and asks what the Microspacian wants in exchange for awakening the Wraith god...
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Yes, please. Entertain this...person while I clean up his mess. It's going to take a while."
- -Microtron doesn't think too highly of Rom.
"As so many on this world do, you underestimate us Wraith. Your magic took us by surprise once for it does not exist in our universe...but having been exposed to it, we were able to adjust our protective forcefields accordingly."
- -Acroyear lays down some smack talk on D'rge.
- As established in ROM #8, Neutralizer energy can be channeled directly through the armor of a Space Knight without the need for a physical weapon.
- The Analyzer reads Acroyear as both man and machine, something established in the 2017 Micronauts Annual.
- Remember D'rge? The Wraith Sorcerer was last seen nearly a year ago (from a real world perspective) in his lighthouse back in ROM #6 (he would also appear in the main story of ROM #14, which had yet to come out due to delays). He saves his skin the same way he did in issue #3, shapeshifting into something inconspicuous and fleeing.
- Acroyear swears by the "suns of Aegis", the system from which he and Baron Karza hail from.
- Biotron compares his neutralisation of the Wraith's pathogen to previous times he has neutralised toxins within his cockpit; we saw this happen back in Micronauts #2, where he prevented a bio-weapon from Valtricos Research Station being used on the people of the planet below.
- D'rge makes mention of Karza teaming up with them in Revolution. However, see "Errors" below.
- Karza mentions the Wraiths' plan of awakening their god and terraforming Earth into a new homeworld, goals established in ROM #9 and ROM #10 respectively. ROM #14 demonstrated that the Wraiths are frighteningly close to accomplishing those goals.
- To convince Rom of their true nature, Biotron highlights his own mechanical physiology and that Wraiths are unable to possess inorganic matter... except that Cybertronians are inorganic, and the Wraiths' ability to possess them is a plot point in Rom vs. Transformers: Shining Armor. Is this an error, a spoiler or does it have something to do with Cybertronian Sparks?
- D'rge says Karza betrayed the Wraiths in Revolution (something which the Baron fully admits to doing) but, just like last issue, we are compelled to point out that Karza and the Wraiths had no such alliance in Revolution and were pursuing separate agendas with barely any knowledge of each other. They did, however, have a mutual ally in the form of Miles Mayhem.
- Dire Wraiths are capable of shrinking down to Micronaut-size.
- Regular cover: The Micronauts in Rom's sights, by Nelson Daniel.
- Subscription cover A: Rom sucker punches a Wraith while Oz and Biotron fight a miniature one, by Chris Panda.
- Subscription cover B: Rom streaks away from an exploding planet, by Humberto Ramos.
- Retailer's Exclusive cover: Propaganda poster for the Solstar Order, exclusive to UK's Diamond Distributors, by James Biggie, homaging Darwyn Cooke's cover for issue 6 of DC: The New Frontier.