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IDW's new Rom: Dire Wraiths Miniseries exposes truth of the Apollo moon landing

By Jeff Spry
Rom Hero

Spotlighting that chrome alien spaceknight soaring through the cosmos, IDW Publishing will dip back into the annals of American history and NASA's Apollo space program in a fresh Rom-themed release.

Rom: Dire Wraiths is a three-part miniseries centered around Earth’s intrepid heroes, those valiant astronauts whose monumental mission unfortunately brought them into close contact with the dreaded Dire Wraiths, the shape-shifting nemesis of the galaxy — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive encounter with the premiere issue.

Rom 1

Written by Chris Ryall, IDW's Chief Creative Officer and the maestro behind IDW’s Rom comic book resurrection, and paired with electrifying interior art courtesy of Luca Pizzari (Marvel’s Weapon X), this alt-history Dire Wraiths story is a provocative debriefing of a secret alien invasion brewing on a pale desolate satellite a quarter-million miles from our home some fifty years ago.

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Touching down in comic shops on Oct. 23 just in time for Halloween, "Inhumanauts," Part 1 begins in 1969 as a pair American star voyagers became the first humans to ever set foot on the lunar surface. Their eventful liftoff from Cape Canaveral to the cheers of thousands of onlookers, to trans-lunar injection and orbit, the trio of Apollo 11 astronauts had no clue that something inhuman was waiting for them on the rocky, crater-marked landscape below, ready to hitchhike back to the planet Earth with evil intent on their minds. With Rom the Spaceknight off somewhere protecting the universe, it's up to the Earth Corp to help prevent one giant leap for Wraithkind.

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When returning to the task of writing Rom, Ryall had an inkling of the type of story he wished to craft and share.

"I knew I wanted to tell something out of continuity — last time people saw Rom, he was part of the big Unicron event that essentially shut down the old Hasbro Universe where Rom existed," Ryall tells SYFY WIRE. "And I knew people would wonder if this was a reboot or revisiting a continuity we said was closed or something else, so I opted for “something else” by setting it in a time period we’d not visited with these characters before. So now fans can assume he is or isn’t in the continuity they were familiar with, depending on what suits them."

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"I also wanted to do a story that paid tribute to the moon landing, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary this year, which gave me some interesting characters to bounce off the Dire Wraiths while also involving Rom and a couple other Space Knights in a unique way," he explains. "We found a way to introduce some new characters that longtime fans of another Hasbro property might recognize, too. And mostly, I wanted to do a kind of “John Carpenter’s The Thing on the moon” storyline."

Rocketing into stores next month, Rom: Dire Wraiths #1 includes a special back-up story explaining where Rom is roaming with art by Guy Dorian (Rom, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero) and Rom veteran Sal Buscema (The Incredible Hulk, Spectacular Spider-Man)

Blast into our exclusive preview in the full gallery below and tell us if you'll hitch a ride when the debut issue lands Oct. 23.

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