Synopsis: Rom, greatest spaceknight of Galador, brings his centuries-old battle against the Dire Wraiths to Earth.
Writer (plot): Jim Shooter
Writer (script): Bill Mantlo
Penciler: Sal Buscema
Rarely spectacular but always solid, Rom is an underappreciated gem. Much of the credit goes to Bill Mantlo, the writer at the helm of this series’ entire 75-issue run, plus four annuals. Mantlo launches his own secret invasion of the Marvel Universe with this debut (and, frankly, it’s better than Marvel’s 2008 event series). Rom #1 introduces the hero, villains, backstory and first main member of the supporting cast; if only modern comics offered as much story in a single issue. Sal Buscema deserves praise, too, as the definitive Rom artist.
Cool factor: Rom looks like a toaster.
Not-so-cool factor: Rom looks like a toaster.
Notable: First appearance of Rom. … Rom was based on an action figure that sold quite poorly. … This issue topped the TCR Top 100 Comic Books sales charts in The Comics Reader #175, December 1979. … In Mantlo: A Life in Comics, Mantlo said a dissatisfied Shooter retooled his initial treatment for Rom, in effect plotting this debut issue. … Frank Miller’s cover credit was confirmed by Jim Shooter. … Al Milgrom and Michael Netzer (then Nasser) both provided earlier versions of the cover.
“Our mission can not truly be said to be over until the last of the Dire Wraiths has been hunted to the very ends of the galaxy and cast into limbo!”Rom, spaceknight
Published and © by Marvel, December 1979
Cover by Frank Miller
Collected EditionsRom #1 remains uncollected at the time of this review’s publication.
Editor’s note: This review first appeared on Comics Bronze Age, April 3, 2009.