web stats

CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #6

And now for something completely different.

1/6/07

6. ROM, Spaceknight!

Let me tell you about ROM and me.

Wait, no. Scratch that. (This joke would be funnier if the site still existed, but it seems to have disappeared.)

ROM was one of those little gems of a series that lasted a pretty long time but no one noticed. He was based on a toy that never really took off (but recently showed up on Robot Chicken, so perhaps ROM’s time has finally come!) but managed to land a Marvel Comics series that ran 75 issues and four annuals. There was also that ROM-less Spaceknights mini written by Starlin a while back, but it’s considered to be awful, and Starlin admitted that he only wrote it so that he could fix up his boat.

The original series, however, was great. Written by beloved Bill Mantlo and drawn by such greats as Sal Buscema and Steve Ditko, and yes, I’m heaping praise on these gents without a hint of irony. I love their work.

ROM was a Spaceknight from Galador, and ended up on Earth to banish Dire Wraiths, disguised as humans, with the aid of his Neutralizer, a laser gun that would send them to limbo (but let’s not forget his Analyzer and Universal Translator). Foolish Earthlings, however, thought he was a mad robot that killed random people, for they knew nothing of the Wraith menace. Eventually, he won. Or something. I never did get to read many of the later issues.

Yeah, it’s a silly premise, but the comic, and the character, had a lot of heart. ROM was the noblest hero since the Silver Surfer.

After the series ended, ROM has popped up now and then (he was a guest at Rick Jones’ wedding), but Marvel no longer owns the rights and the actual character of ROM can’t officially show up. I’d love for them to get the rights back, even if it was only to print an Essential ROM (much like their deal for Essential Godzilla). A new ROM series would make me a happy blogger, but I’d probably die from shock. And it’d probably last six issues in today’s market.

And whoever started those rumors about ROM being a Nazi were dead wrong. Wrong, I say! But he is, apparently, Galactus’ forgotten herald.

Some useful ROM links:

ROM, Spaceknight Revisited

ROM, Greatest of the Spaceknights

ROM’s Wikipedia Entry

Lastly, here’s an image drawn by Greg Burgas’ archenemy Tom Beland. I think it’s an awesome picture and I certainly hopes he doesn’t mind it showing up here:

ROM is/was awesome. You should love him. And you should love comics.

25 Comments

Tom loves Rom beyond all reason, especially because he has been mistakenly referred to as Rom Russell on numerous occassions.

Man, I wish Marvel and Mattell can get together and give the ok for an Essential Rom Space Knight. If Toho and Marvel can give us Ess. Godzilla, why can’t a toymaker see there’s money to be made with reprints of their property.

Nice blast from the past!

I’ve always liked ROM’s mitten hands. He might be a space knight, but he can’t type.

I have fond memories of the handful of ROM issues I read as a kid, so I would definitely plunk down the change for an Essential volume.

What was great about ROM was also how much Marvel actually integrated him into their universe at the time. The Dire Wraiths showed up in several other Marvel books, inluding X-Men. And the cameo appearance in Peter David’s Hulk was priceless. Reason #409 why PAD rules…

ROM… and Shang-Chi.
Need I say more? Those were the bestest :-)

There are no reasons why PAD rules.

My nextdoor neighbor when I was a kid was a fan and had a dog named ROM. He had to be put to sleep when he bit a girl down the street (dog, not the neighbor).

It was strange that Mantlo was pretty mediocre on most of his writing assignments, but really shined when doing licensed toy stuff like ROM and Micronauts. That’s usually the stuff you’d think would be creatively limiting, but Mantlo was able to get some really cool stories out of the concepts.

SanctumSanctorumComix

January 7, 2007 at 10:25 am

I LOVE/loved ROM!

Loved the cheesy (yet awesome) stories!

Loved the basic (but dynamic) Sal Buscema interior art!

LOVED the Michael Golden covers!
(LOVED, I say!)

Loved the HellHounds! (Especially in their phantom forms)
The Pillsbury Doughboy-like Wraiths were “meh”, but as a shape-shifting race, it kinda made sense.
The witch-wraiths were pretty cool too.

Love the lame “action” figure! (I have 2 – one complete in box and one with no box)

Loved PAD’s loving cameo’s of the armor strewn about Rick Jones’ apartment.

Loved the Akin & Garvey Inks! (Good gravy, that was when I felt the art really shone and made me a drooling fanboy for that book)!

Loved the guest-stars (Chang-Chi, Doctor Strange, Namor, etc…)! Everyone was shown in a good light (y’know…AFTER the obligatory “misunderstanding” and ensuing fight).

What’s NOT to love about ROM?

(Ok…it sorta ended poorly, but it was a heck of a run)

Now, with this entry, I feel as if this list isn’t a countdown, but a true melange of what makes comics great!

Great choice!

(I think I broke my exclamation-point button on my keyboard with this post)

;-)

~P~
P-TOR

SanctumSanctorumComix

January 7, 2007 at 10:32 am

Oh, ONE note about that “ROM & ME” site…

It wasn’t a dude.
(I KNOW it sure LOOKED like a dude)
The author was a female.

It was just that she wasn’t all that great an illustrator.

However, she MORE than made up for it by her SCULPTURE work.

She made a lifesize replica (with full articulation) of ROM’s head and torso, and sculpted many fully articulated pendants and free-standing sculptures.

Sure, she took the love a bit to the extreme (waaaaay into the extreme if you had a chance to read her crayon-illustrated comics), but her love produced some kickass sculpted works.

I, for one, would have loved to have purchased some.

~P~
P-TOR

SanctumSanctorumComix

January 7, 2007 at 10:38 am

OK..last post.

Here is the site for the original creator of ROM with a slideshow of the progression of the character/toy AND a link to download the original promo video that was used to sell it at 1979 Toy Fare.

http://www.stonefoundationentertainment.com/rom.html

Enjoy!

~P~
P-TOR

i never heard of rom before…but that story sounds cool.

seriously tho…this is a stupid number 5.

even more so because it’s number 6, lol

There is a good article covering ROM on Comics 101 from 2006.

ROM actually made it into the Annihilation series, it was either issue 5 or 6. He was working with Blastaar I think.

No he didn’t. The Spaceknights were in ANNIHILATION, but no Rom.

The Kirbydotter

March 9, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Ditto on everything SanctumSanctorumComix said!
I’m glad to see another noticed Akin And Garvey incredible ink job on making Sal Buscema’s interiors look almost as good as Golden’s covers.

And Craig Russell was born to ink Steve Ditko on ROM.
No really.

JUST WANTED TO SHARE THOUGHT WITH THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE FOND MEMORIES OF ROM…WOULDNT IT BE GREAT TO SEE A “ROM” MOTION PICTURE BASED ON THE COMIC…. WHAT MEMORIES LAST SUMMER I SPENT OVER 3 MONTHS WITH NO ELECTRICITY CAMPING… AND GUESS WHAT I WAS READING ALL MY OLD COLLECTION OF NEAR MINT VITNAGE COMICS.. (AND THE MICRONAUTS, WOLVERINE, PUNISHER, GI JOE, TRANSFORMERS, AND MY FAVORITE MOON KNIGHT) ROM HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY FAVORITES. I HAVE MEMORIES OF PURCHASING ROM’S 2ND ANNUAL THE ONE WITH 2 ROMS ON THE COVER ABOUT TO FIGHT IT WAS A GREAT 1979 THANKS TO ROM. OVER THE YEARS I EVEN RAN IN TO ROM COMIC ISSUES IN FLEA MARKETS IN PUERTO RICO OF ALL PLACES… I WILL ALWAYS BE A FAN OF ROM THE STORY, ART , AND EVERYTHING WAS GREAT. I AM 32 AND ONE OF MY MAIN ASPIRATIONS IS TO (SAVE SOME $) AND GET A HOLD OF A FULL RUN OF ALL ISSUES OF ROM TO MISS THE GREAT STORIES I STILL HAVENT READ. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVENT WATCHED THE CARTOON “STARBLAZERS” SERIES (SPACEBATTLESHIP YAMATO) TRY TO CATCH IT’S GREAT( TRANZOR Z KNOWN AS MAZINGER WAS PRETY GOOD 2). LONG LIVE THE MICRONAUTS, MAZINGER, AND THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA ORIGNAL SERIES THEY WERE GREAT SCI-FI ENTERTAINMENT.

pattycakeonline+videos++%3Ca+href%3D+http%3A%2F%2Fsetyourdvd.info%2Fpattycakeonline%2Dvideos+%3Epattycakeonline+videos%3C%2Fa%3E+5

I’ve gone by the nickname of Rom for a number of years now (Tom Rokins spoonerism = Rom Tokins, my friends are that creative), and a couple years back my brother found a few issues of ROM: Spaceknight in a little shop in Ireland and brought them back for me, as he thought it was a nice little sorta coincidence. I’ve loved ROM ever since, and have been browsing eBay for issues for some time!

er… totally forgot to mention the actual point of my post… It made me smile to see ROM here, I never knew he was so popular! :-D

The Dire Wraiths made ROM a pretty scary comic too. I mean they stole people’s identities, killed children, and even (in #60) killed an entire train load of people men, women, and children. They would be seriously scary if ever committed to the silver screen.

An Essential Rom’d be great!!

This is the series that got me into collecting. I couldn’t wait for the next one, I would re-read them over and over. I have the entire series and the four annuals all tucked away.

ROM is my favorite comicbook character. With his sacrifices, self-analyzing, and noble heart, and all. Eventhough I own a complete run of ROM….whenever I find a lonely back-issue sitting in a dollar box, I always purchase it.. Long live ROM and all you spaceknights.

I’m thrilled to find a tiny enclave of Galadorians here!

I’ve been writing about ROM of late. This was simply a funny and cool introduction.
Walt Simonson’s redesign of the later Wraiths = dreadful, awesome, and much more capable of adding the emotional level of pathos, which helped the last two years of the series.

Here, long after this post originally went live, I started my OWN blog, dedicated, in part, to ROM.
(Doctor Strange, Man-Thing and ROM being the “holy three” of my blog’s focus)
Feel free to stop over and share the love.

~P~

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives