Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rogue's turning point in R.E.M. of ROM

“West Virginia Reel “ (from ROM 31, courtesy retro-constructed scenes preserved in Mantlobot circuitry aboard the cyborg computes
of Galador's greatest spaceknight, Rom).

“West Virginia Reel “
It’s another Marv Wolfman creation, the Torpedo, who encounters the strange re-assembly of the Hybrid on Earth. The grey, physically corrupted horror battles Torpedo on the sight of the Old Marks Farm where he was raised for thirteen years...until the Dire Wraiths revealed his heritage to him.
The super-conveyance taking the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to Windust Prison nearly runs down some prisoners who as a chain-gang desperately shovel snow in blizzard conditions that make the flying mode of the unit less than optimal. Rom arrives to stop the unit in its tracks, leading to its condition red blast off, complete with Destiny, the Blob, Pyro and Avalanche aboard, suspended by Stark technology.
The prisoners convince Rom they work as slaves, a concept he finds abhorrent, and he breaks their chains. They use his confusion to escape while he flies after the conveyance, and soon he indignantly tears down the gates of the prison.
Inside, the Brotherhood prisoners are remanded to someone the staff believes is Dr. Kellogg. The real warden of Windust shares her captured fate; their impostors are Rogue and Mystique, who speedily free the Brotherhood. Rom unwittingly draws fire as they complete their mistaken escape. Then they run into Rom himself. At this point Pyro attacks the tower guards, ending Rom’s cooperation. Blob and Pyro fight Rom, resulting in some incidental burns to Blob. He gladly holds back help while Rom’s summoned Neutralizer leaves Pyro agonizing. He has to use his Analyzer to see if he faces super-humans or Wraiths. Rogue’s first instinct is to stop the crimson beam, and she is the first to realize upon walloping him that Rom is a machine (though she incorrectly believes him not to be a man).

Destiny foresees difficulties in escape via the air van, leading Avalanche, nursing broken arms, to overreact. His shockwaves leave him passed out from his power flow’s effect on his bones (courtesy the Incredible Hulk not long before this story) and shake up the ground beneath the Brotherhood’s feet. His immoveability perturbed, Blob falls to a Rom uppercut and Rogue obeys Mystique’s order to cut their losses and run. The resemblance of Mystique to Nightcrawler, whom Rom met while first battling the Hybrid, crosses the cyborg’s mind before he has to turn and answer to the warden and guards. By now he realizes the flaw in his assumptions and promises to attempt to undo his mistake.

Now, full circle: the remaining mutants gather before a door containing a visionary horror assailing the confused Destiny. Rogue bashes her way in unafraid, but the sickening creature on the staircase reeks with fetid odors and speaks with chilling familiarity, to the dismay of all three women.

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