Spaceknight Saturdays: Clareton Is Rom's Alfred

Here's where things are at in Clareton, Virginia.

Steve Jackson has escaped the Wraiths and stopped Brandy's wedding to Wraith-Steve.

"Lady journalist" Ace O'Connor apparently died at the Wraiths' hands, but left photos and notes to be discovered by Weekly World News (I'm sorry, that should be Washington Weekly News) staff.

The town's population now knows that Rom is one of the friendlies.

The Dire Wraiths have pretty much abandonned their base in Clareton.

All caught up? Ok, let's cut to "Gentleman journalist" Mack Killburn. He's come to Clareton armed with Ace's pictures and intent on writing the story of the century. But why is everyone so tight-lipped about Rom?
(Remind me not to buy anything at the Clareton Bakery, by the way.) Turns out half of Clareton's citizens are intent on convincing the other half that Rom was just a hoax. A Dire Wraith plot? No, just giving Rom his own brand of "secret identity".
How they'll explain the crushed furniture is another story.

Rom tells his new allies more about the Wraiths, including why we haven't seen them in other Marvel comics. See, the Dark Nebula is actually in another universe, accessible through a black hole. It's a place where the suns are dark and cold, and pink is apparently an evil color.
Once again, Clareton's citizens ask Rom to scan them with his Analyzer to prove none of them are Wraiths. This time, he does, and I'm man enough to admit that I was wrong about the priest last week. He's no Wraith. Just oddly creepy.
Meanwhile, Steve and his buddies are building their own Analyzer in the basement. I guess he feels like he's competing with Rom for Brandy's affections (and he is), but I'm not sure she loves Rom for his Analyzer, Steve. A tiff ensues, and Rom can hear it through the walls. Oh the melodrama!
But while I'm sure you're loving the Living Room Adventures of Rom, there is some action in the book. There are the kids who go play "space invader" in the old mine. They find and accidentally activate a giant robot built by Wraiths (indeed, a "Watchwraith") that goes on a rampage when no Wraiths input orders into it. When it turns out it's impervious to water, Clareton is out of options.
Quick, somebody call the Clarks' and see if Rom's home! Cue fighting as "boy reporter" Mack Killburn takes notes. He is especially shocked to see Clareton residents helping Rom. For example, when our boy in silver gets space-napalmed, the firemen really come into their own.
The fight is then taken into an ice cream parlour, with the heavy-dutiest freezer you've ever seen outside the Baxter Building.
With a little help from his "cold as the depths of space" power, Rom freons the Watchwraith's ass to near absolute zero. After which the citizenry crash a truck into the parlour to "explain the damage". Now THAT's devotion to a hero's secrets! That, and they bully "dude scribbler" Mack Killburn.
Rom learns that he can trust Clareton to be his home away from home. Batman has a whole cave. Superman has a Fortress in the Arctic. Rom will have nothing less than an entire town as his HQ!

In the Saga of the Spaceknights backup feature, we learn the origin of Terminator after he cold-bloodedly destroys a hospital ship that was attacked by Dire Wraiths. They've infected the people inside with an incurable Wraith Plague, which Terminator also suffered from in his real life.
So there you have it. With no humanity to return to, he may well prove the most ruthless Spaceknight ever. We'll keep an eye on him.

Bravo Jon Green of Ronkonkoma, New York! You've just made the Comics Code Authority hesitate.


Unknown said…
Hey Siskoid: Who is doing the inking on Sal Buscema here?

Buscema's art looks like it is almost full-on into his more modern, somewhat rough and stylized style that he used to great effect in late 80s Spider-Man comics. In those comics, he inked himself; I was curious if he was inking himself at this point as well.
Siskoid said…
Yes sir he was!
I wish they would have done more with the Watch Wraith robots in the ROM series. i would have liked them to feature some battles against other spaceknights.