This is it! The double-sized epic blow-out! The Wraith War to end all Wraith Wars! It all ends HERE!
Well... not quite. The normal-sized Spaceknights #5 does feature a huge battle between good and evil Spaceknights, but it doesn't quite deliver on resolving the threads weaved into the last 4 issues. So I'll entreat you to join me a round of THAT MAKES ROM SAD every time Starlin and Batista miss the boat. Let's practice that, shall we? For example, look at that inaction cover. All together now: THAT MAKES ROM SAD!
Yes, yes it does.
The players: The new Spaceknight Squadron versus the Wraithknights. Almost immediately, Val the Angel (Sentry) - who is NOT the hero of this series - declares single combat with the biggest baddest Wraithknight.
He has to regain the honor lost when he let Rom be killed, but still... Not only should one of Rom's sons get a chance for proper avenging, but it hardly makes sense for the other Knights to respect the duel's conventions when victory is on the line. But what do you expect from a leader who's idea of strategy is this:
Yes. watch your back, Starshine. Especially when the bad guy is on your front. One last cue: THAT MAKES ROM SAD (from now on, you're expected to know when you should just chant those words).
Of course, Balin also thinks having been given Terminator's title was a huge honor. I guess nobody told him he turned traitor.
Then, two more players enter the fray: The combined fleet of the dissident protectorate worlds who think the Spaceknights are the real enemy and the Deathwing, a Wraith creature the Spacknights weren't able to overcome at all in previous issues. So what do you do about a monster your entire Squadron can't even scratch? If you're Balin, send only a single Spaceknight after it. THAT MAKES ROM SAD!
And Firefall actually makes it scream! So much for consistency. Hasn't this sequence already made Rom sad enough?! Apparently not, because Sentry uses the scream as a diversion to finally stick it to his Wraithknight foe. (In space, everyone can hear you scream.)
I love his reaction, but the death blow is all in shadow, anti-climactic at best. THAT MAKES ROM SAD! The Deathwing goes crazy and moves to attack the poor misguided alien fleet, but the Spaceknights still have their hands full with the remaining Wraithknights. Methinks it's time for a deus ex machina, and it comes in the form of Axadar the Neutralizer that doesn't look like Rom's Neutralizer, popping out of nowhere (subspace).
It wasn't destroyed by that bomb after all, just 'ported itself (very slowly) to Tristan's hand. And not only does it enable him to nullify the Wraithknights' armors, but also send the Deathwing to Limbo (so it was a polymorphed Wraith?). On top of that, the gun reveals all the plot the comic can't in its few remaining pages. THAT MAKES ROM SAD! It tells Tristan Lord Gaspar was the mole. It reveals that anger is what keeps Balin from holding the Neutralizer. And so on.
Then the Vanguard shows up, the army that was supposed to fight this battle, but they don't do anything. The alien fleet is at peace once again, and the Wraiths are defeated. So why were these guys introduced at all? Just to MAKE ROM SAD! It's a lot like the plot point about Scanner risking brain damage by keeping the Knights mind-linked. That had neither a purpose or any consequences. THAT ALSO MAKES ROM SAD!
If the Wraithknights are corrupted Galadorians (which they apparently are) and you don't count the Deathwing (which at no point is refered to as a Wraith), then no Wraiths were harmed in the making of this mini-series. The Wraith we do see gets away, and wipes every trace of evidence linking him to the plot, including Gaspar's mind. THAT MAKES ROM SAD!
The epilogue has Balin put an end to the rivalry between him and Tristan, Tristan lets Brandy stay on a Prime Director, and a Wraith War is threatened but you know isn't followed up on. Ever. THAT MAKES ROM SAD!
How does the comic end?
Uh-huh. Right. You know what to say to that.
Next Saturday: The Spaceknights - where are they now?