Spaceknight Saturdays: Rom Hits the Big Time

In today's market, the X-Men (or at least Wolverine) would have appeared to give Rom a big thumbs-up for the 3rd issue. That it took 17 issues (and even so, they appear for only 3 pages), speaks to a different time in American comic books. The book actually credits Chris Claremont as "Consultant", which means one of two things:
1) Claremont is extremely anal about anyone using the X-Men;
2) Bill Mantlo really didn't read Uncanny.
Maybe both! Maybe one spawned the other! In either order! Either way, imagine if Claremont had continued to act as consultant on every single X-appearance. He would never have had time to write any comics.

Besides, judging from the issue's title ("Hybrid!"), it seems like Claremont didn't have THAT much input. A Claremont title would be more like "You Will Believe a Wraith Can Love".

Yes, that's right, listen to the tale of Farmer Jacob, a Dire Wraith who crashed on Earth in 1940 and tired of the fighting, inserted himself into human society, fell in love, got married, and had a child. Optimist view: There really is someone for everyone. Pessimist view: The aliens want our women.
Whoah... had a child? That's right, a "forbidden cross-breeding of two diametrically opposed races". As such, little Jimmy is a mutant with tremendous psychokinetic powers, taken under the wing of Clairton's Dire Wraiths who teach him all about his heritage. He embraces it.
After killing the livestock, he ages his mother by 50 years and freezes up the kitchen, all for fun. All of this attracts the attention of Rom Spaceknight, who arrives at the farmhouse a good 15 pages before the X-Men do. What he finds is nothing short of Conradian:
Jimmy's true form: Hybrid.
Oh my God, Hybrid. Before I started collecting Rom in its entirety, my collection held less than a handful of issues. Mostly those that featured guest characters I was interested in. I'd completely forgotten Hybrid, but I first met him in Rom Annual #3, guest-starring the New Mutants (so they weren't ALL issues with characters I was interested in). I then continued to meet him in my worst nightmares for years. I'm not kidding. In the Annual, he's even creepier than he is here (but so are the Wraiths). Telekinetic battle is joined!
As you can see, Hybrid gets Rom's melodrama uncut and direct from his thought balloons. He's THAT powerful. And when daddy dearest tries to interfere, watch out for flying pitchforks.
Hybrid's hideous plan: To force our women to mate with Wraiths to create more like him (Pessimism SCORES!) and choke Rom with the drapes (it's a two-tier plan):
Things go from bad to worse when Rom finds that Hybrid can't be banished or killed by the Neutralizer thanks to his human heritage. Maybe with more power?
Nope. Rom does shout out quite a stinger of an insult though: "Foul half-caste!" Wow, that hurts.

And then the X-Men show up, take little Jimmy for a poor mutant oppressed by the Man (of Metal) and the lines are drawn.
Ahhh, THERE'S you're Claremont title. See you in 7 for the conclusion!

6 comments:

CalvinPitt said...

I think Hybrid might want to rethink trying to choke ROM with drapery. Was he thinking he'd make the Spaceknight's head pop off, or was he shooting for "cutting off airflow = ROM blacks out"? Because I can't see either being highly successful.

In fact, it reminds me of that Suicide Squad tie-in where Slipknot tries to choke a Manunter robot, and the robot actually disses him for trying something so silly. Was that Milennium, or Invasion?

Siskoid said...

The next panel shows Rom ripping the crap out of the drapery. :-)

And it's the Millenium crossover. No man escapes the Manhunters!

Every man escapes Slipknot!

Blockade Boy said...

"...Imagine if Claremont had continued to act as consultant on every single X-appearance. He would never have had time to write any comics."

That would have been awesome. The "not writing comics" bit, I mean. Please, stop teasing my brain with your ambrosian visions!

Sea_of_Green said...

OMG -- yessssssssss!!!! I had this story. It was so gosh-darn kinky. Definitely one of the weirder (and more entertaining) Rom tales. :-)

Siskoid said...

Sorry Blockade Boy.

Speaking of visions, ambrosian and otherwise, Sea of Green just put some nasty nightmare imagery in my head with that "kinky" comment.

Roger said...

As was said in the Invencible Superblog, Hybrid is one of the ugliest thingd in the Marvel Universe. Just look at his feets.

And acne is really hard on Dire Wraiths teens. No surprise he needs to use pshychic powers to obtain women.

 

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