Spaceknight Saturdays: Now With 20% More Pictures!

Continuing Spacekight Saturdays, Rom #3 features a cover by Frank "before he was a star" Miller and Terry "X-Men" Austin. So now I can't stop myself from imagining Rom in Sin City style. The color scheme would definitely work. And so would the badassery.

As if to let me know my idea makes perfect sense, the first ad in the comic is for a BB gun, aimed squarely at "smaller kids". Check it out:

But where's our story at? Ah yes, the Dire Wraiths have infiltrated upper echelons of the US military complex and are using their power to convince last issue's criminal element, Archie Stryker, to kill Rom in service to his country. Dude's been hysterical since he saw Rom send a bunch of people to limbo anyway, so why not?
Korea in 1953, eh? Seeing as the comic takes place in 1980, that would make Striker 45 at the very least, depending on when he enlisted and how long his tour of duty was. The Wraiths appear to think that a guy who was fit for battle 27 years ago still has enough moxie to go up against a Spaceknight. What's wrong with Vietnam as a battle experience? Maybe they're just feeding him a line. In any case, the Wraiths are CRAZY and before turning Stryker into a supervillain, they try to kill him in an exercise that features live missiles.
I must say he does pretty well for a guy who might be pushing 50. The plan: Bond him to a Spaceknight suit skinned off a dead Knight. Ooh, grisly.
But you didn't come here to read about the secret origin of Firefall! Where's Rom? Well, Mantlo is still giving us HIS origin one drop at a time, and what's an issue of Rom Spaceknight without proper agonizing?
Yes, Rom, your hands have been turned into oven mitts. The horror... the horror... Rom is superior to the Silver Surfer in every way. Even in the whining. Why? Because he's got a RIGHT to. Any issue of Rom is like epic poetry.
The dank tunnel leads to a secret Dire Wraith cave where the monsters are tapping into the Earth's geothermic energy to power a transporter device that might retrieve their brethren from limbo. Rom's reaction?
Oh no you DON'T! In human form, the Wraiths must apparently use human means to fight Rom:
But silly Wraiths, don't you know? If there's one thing Rom is very good at, it's throwing cars around!
And so the transporter is destroyed, screwing not only with the Dire Wraiths' plans, but with every electrical device in Virginia. (No, I didn't know they had electricity either.... I'm KIDDING!) Then Stryker arrives and it's easy to see why he would think ROM is the monster.
Those human-shaped piles of ash are certainly damning. Stryker attacks and oh my, he's using Galadorian power!
How does Rom get out of this one? HE THROWS THE FIRE RIGHT BACK AT HIM!
That's right. Rom can throw off flames. Don't question it. Embrace it. As for how this fight ends (as if there's any doubt), come back next week. In the meantime, I leave you with a Marvel Masterwork Pin-Up by the great Al Milgrom.
It's Clamp Action Rom Spaceknight!


rob! said...

you know, with all those Wraiths out there, a kid needs a Crosman gun.

Unknown said...

Sal Buscema FOR THE WIN.

Jack Norris said...

Seeing this great Sal Buscema artwork makes me kind of sad that I skipped ROM, as I was missing seeing his work elsewhere at the time (as I just said on another blog, this and GI Joe came out just when I reached the perfect age to reject licensed properties just for being licensed properties).

Anonymous said...

"Yes, Rom, your hands have been turned into oven mitts. The horror... the horror... "

Never before have the limitations of late-70s plastic molding technology been treated with such pathos.



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