One of the most confusing elements of the Marvel cosmic (which is saying something with multiple Starlord origins and three separate Beyonder retcons) is the place of Rom and the Spaceknights in the larger universe. Due to the hero’s origin as a toy before entering the Marvel Universe, Rom proper has been disconnected from since Hulk #214. Everything built around the Spaceknight in the series including his homeworld, Galador, and the concept of Spaceknights were retained and made a part of the larger cosmology.
The Spaceknights would lead a series from Jim Starlin and Chris Batista in 2007, which featured a character that was Rom in all but name to skirt rights issues. The Spaceknights would also play pivotal roles in the Marvel cosmic renaissance of the late ‘00s, appearing in Annihilation: Conquest and Annihilators. More recently, Galador and the Spaceknights were linked with Kid Cable as a result of the X of Swords event, and functioned as a recurring plot in the first half of Cable’s 2019 solo limited series. Meanwhile, Rom would lead his own stories over at IDW, who published multiple runs for the character along with tying him into the Hasbro interconnected comic universe.
Now, Marvel has announced that it has partnered with Hasbro to bring the early Rom: Spaceknight comics back into print with Rom: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus Volume 1. The collection is set for release January 2024, and collects both the first 29 issues of the ROM run from Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema, along with his guest appearance in Power Man and Iron Fist #73.
The story of Rom, the greatest of the Spaceknights, sees the tragic figure battling his planet’s enemies, the Dire Wraiths, across the galaxy, which leads him to earth. The beings have infiltrated keystones of human society, including classic S.H.I.E.L.D., and Rom is the only one that can see the Dire Wraiths in their true form. As Rom tries to defeat his fated enemies, across the universe, Galactus makes plans to devour the Spaceknight homeworld of Galador.
Along with the omnibus, the Marvel and Hasbro partnership will also produce a Rom #1 Facsimile Edition, which releases this September. The reprinting of the first issue is the perfect place to see the classic action figure come to life in the pages of Marvel. Like many of the other Facsimile Editions produced by Marvel, this will include all of the original ads and copy from 1979.
The collection will feature a Frank Miller cover for Rom: Spaceknight #1 along with never-before-seen Rom art from George Pérez. The art, which was provided by the legendary artist’s estate, will be offered as a Direct Market exclusive variant.
Those pieces, along with a more detailed synopsis for the original Rom run can be seen below:
The popular toy turned comic book superstar headlined his very own solo series throughout the 80s, igniting readers’ imaginations for 75 issues. Set in the main Marvel Comics universe, Rom was a full-fledged Marvel icon who had memorable team-ups with the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men, and even battled bravely against the likes of Galactus and the Skrulls!
These incredible stories by industry legends Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema, along with various Rom guest appearances, will be reprinted for the first time ever in ROM: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS VOLUME 1, on sale January 2024. In addition to this long-awaited collection, fans can pick up a facsimile edition of Rom’s comic book debut, 1979’s ROM #1, this September!
ROM: THE ORIGINAL YEARS OMNIBUS VOLUME 1 will collect ROM (1979) #1-29 and POWER MAN AND IRON FIST (1978) #73. He strikes from outer space…and nothing can stop him! Marvel Comics is proud to present the iconic early adventures of the greatest of Spaceknights — Rom! Centuries ago, Rom pledged his life to protect his planet, Galador, from the evil Dire Wraiths. Now, Rom has tracked these vile creatures across the cosmos to Earth, where they have infiltrated the highest levels of power — including S.H.I.E.L.D. itself!
Armed with his energy analyzer, only Rom can see the Wraiths’ true form — and with his neutralizer, he can blast them into Limbo! But what will Earth make of this armored invader? Will Rom’s quest be aided or hindered by encounters with the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Jack of Hearts, Nova, and Power Man and Iron Fist? And when Galactus targets Galador, can Rom and his fellow Spaceknights save their homeworld from destruction?
ROM: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC
- Written by BILL MANTLO, STEVEN GRANT & JO DUFFY
- Art by SAL BUSCEMA & GREG LAROCQUE
- Cover by FRANK MILLER
- Direct Market Exclusive X-Men Variant Cover by FRANK MILLER
- Direct Market Exclusive Variant Cover by GEORGE PÉREZ
- Direct Market Exclusive Variant Cover by SAL BUSCEMA
ROM: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC goes on sale in January 2024 from Marvel Comics