Reinforcements, Part 4
|"Reinforcements, Part 4"|
|Publisher||IDW Publishing, Ted Adams|
|First published||March 29, 2017|
|Cover date||February 2017|
|Written by||Chris Ryall and Christos Gage|
|Colors by||Alessandra Alexakis|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Editorial assistant||David Mariotte|
Orphion attempts to annihilate the Wraith threat on Earth once and for all by destroying the planet.
Flying at supersonic speeds towards an oil platform, Orphion reflects that, though he has nothing against Earth and its people, it must die to protect the larger galaxy. The nearby oil platform, will be how he accomplishes his task. Leaving Blind-Eye Cave, Rom and Livia have a debate about humanity and Earth with Rom insisting they must not destroy the planet so that they may learn more about the Dire Wraiths' unusual behaviour. Watching the two fly off, Beach Head and Grunt reflect on how outmatched they were and while Beach Head is eager to steal Cybertronian technology, Grunt says that will alert Scarlett to their activities opting to think smaller.
Though the Wraith stench is overpowering, Orphion scans the complex with his Analyzer (mainly to not be a hypocrite after scolding Rom for breaking protocol), the red light altering the Wraith Soldiers to his presence. Though the foreman stands his ground, the others flee from the Space Knight. Unable to access his Neutralizer, Orphion simply smashes through the complex sowing mass panic. Just as the Soldiers find their courage, Orphion's weapon reboots and he slays all save the foreman, crushing the last Wraith in his tail as he reaches his objective: the platform's drill, through which he will destroy Earth. Rom arrives just then intending to fight his commander for Earth's life well aware of the treason he commits.
In Providence, Rhode Island, Darby and Ruan talk at a cafe about her recent adventures and the alien activity on Earth. As Darby wishes for a way to know who's human and who's Wraith, Ruan's eyes glow red. Recognizing him as a Dire Wraith, Darby bolts but he pursues saying he wants to talk. Darby tackles him but notes that he's not shapeshifting and gives him a minute to talk. Ruan explains how he has always been a Dire Wraith but he was born on Earth and as such considers it his home, not caring for his species' desire for conquest. Though he has tried to live a quiet life, his superiors sent him after Darby and knowing the time has come to choose a side, Ruan asks for Darby's help in saving Earth.
At the oil platform Rom again attempts to reason with Orphion only to be attacked, with Livia opening fire on her former lover at Orphion's order. Ordering Livia below, Orphion resolves to finish Rom being done with holding back. Rom is also content to stop holding back and absorbs Orphion's Neutralizer from his armor and uses it as fuel to blast his commander unconscious. Rudderless, Orphion falls to the lower levels as Livia is beset by a small army of Wraith Soldiers and calls for backup. Seeing her commander's prone form, Livia reflects on the bad turn the day has taken.
Below, several Wraith Sorcerers are delivering their bounty to her. After Kagan Knight delivers his, he hears the sounds of battle and, after being briefed, insists on summoning the Absence. No sooner has Orphion recovered does Rom ram into him again but the commander proves able to wrap Rom in his tail and shock him with Neutralizer energy. As Rom falls into unconsciousness, Orphion advances towards the drill. Below, Kagan Knight sacrifices himself so that The Absence may take form. While the Wraith Sorcerers are eager for The Absence to slay the Space Knights, the spectral being reveals he won't be doing anything. He's going to sit back and let the three tear themselves apart.
Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|Space Knights||Dire Wraiths||Humans|
"I am ROM Space Knight! It was I who first absorbed weaponry into my armor...as I now do with yours!"
- —Rom reminds us who the main character is before opening a can of whoop ass on Orphion.
- The Kagan Knight Wraith refers to their leader as "the Absence". In issue #3, D'rge cited the Dire Wraith principle of living by an absence of fear.
- Rom claims to be the first Space Knight who absorbed a weapon into his armor, something that would be explored in the 2017 ROM Annual.
- Ruan claims to have witnessed giant robots in California. Which event he's referring to isn't very clear since California has had a minor presence in IDW's Transformers books but he's likely alluding to the events of All Hail Megatron #3 in which the Decepticons destroyed San Diego and San Francisco...off-panel.
- Grunt encourages Beach Head to "think smaller", likely foreshadowing the upcoming ROM & The Micronauts.
- Last issue, Kagan Knight feared whether or not he'd brought enough of a bounty for "her". He did.
- Solicited for release in February, this issue arrives a month late in the last week of March.
- Regular cover: Rom surrounded by Grunt and Beach Head by Nelson Daniel.
- Subscription cover A: Rom contemplates his navel as the Dire Wraiths loom by EJ Su.
- Subscription cover B: Rom and Orphion stand over defeated Wraiths by Johnny Desjardins.
- Subscription cover C: Rom goes through Abstract Thought by Antonio Fuso.
- Retailer incentive cover: Rom lands on Saturn's rings by Jeff Zornow.