Spaceknight Saturdays: He Can't Die!

Rom left to die at the end of issue 6? Say it ain't so!

It ain't so.

In the letters page, Bill Mantlo himself says he has plans at least through issue 12. So relax. Sit back. Rom ain't goin' nowhere. The letters page also reveals that if we haven't seen the Dire Wraiths' true form yet, it's because Parker Brothers are working on the action figure. Well, that never happened, so it'll teach me to believe everything I read in a letters page.

But back to our favorite Spaceknight. Rom is indeed in dire straits as he lay dying in Steve's garage. His neutralizer is still trapped in a Dire Wraith forcefield (those things just keep on ticking man!) and he hasn't given any sign of life in hours. Artie, a cop who went to high school with Steve, comes over for some down-low action, but is outraged that Steve is hiding a stone cold killer. Well, a stone cold DEAD killer, at any rate. But in small town Clareton, you trust the ones you came up with.
Bringing Rom to the hospital is no easy task. Steve weighs him at about 850 lbs. and there's the dead weight index to worry about. It's the wind chill of lifting bodies. Man, I did NOT realize how big Rom was.
Marvel Universe Deluxe has him at 7 feet, but Jeezum Rice! He seems much bigger than that. Or maybe Brandy is very petite. Not sure what they're planning to do in a hospital laboratory, but between Steve's mechanical know-how and Brandy's... uhm... administrative assistant status (the labcoat is just so they won't stop her dwarven ass in the halls as ask for her pass, I guess), they hook Rom up to booster cables and hope for the best. When nothing happens, poor Brandy blames Jealous Steve for not trying very hard and bangs her head against Rom's chest.Meanwhile, the Wraiths are busy stealing that neutralizer and sowing the Earth with vile seeds.
It's Day of the Triffids meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets The Invaders meets War Against the Chtorr meets Octopus Love!
Artie bites it before Rom can wake up to ask "was someone banging me?", but once he does, watch out. It's weeding season!
When I keep saying Rom is a cold mother------, I mean literally cold. Badass cold. And he don't care what vegetable he hurts.
Steve helps out with a fire extinguisher, completing the homoerotic cycle we've all been trapped in for 21 pages: Steve's "fast" thinking and "siphoning" of Rom's extra energy has climaxed into the nasty tentacle love going limp.
Perhaps my favorite bit: How Rom interrupts Brandy here with "Enough!" Less talk, more sending Wraiths to Limbo.

But what about poor Artie?
Rom does not reach out to Steve. He doesn't do "comforting". He doesn't do "consoling". You're on your own.


Rom really came out of nowhere to become a rousing success and the character find of 1979-80. Could Marvel do it again? The letters page has the following ad for its all-new western hero destined to become a legend!
Caleb Hammer, huh? Let me think... Two-Gun Kid... Phantom Rider... Rawhide Kid... Nope, doesn't ring a bell. Rom stands alone!


Anonymous said...

Actually, Caleb Hammer was one of the better Marvel Western types, and one of the few who survived Blaze of Glory.

Dwayne "the canoe guy" said...

I believe that Caleb was a one-shot wonder, though

Siskoid said...

According to that site, he did make that one return (in BoG), but that's it.


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