Spaceknight Saturdays: Seeing Double

With still no Annual in sight, Rom #25 is going to have to do. Twice the pages, twice the stories, twice the creative teams, and more importantly, twice the Roms!

NOT better than one, you say, Mr. Cover?

That doesn't sound like proper mathematics to me.

We catch to Rom as he beams back to a not-at-all-destroyed Galador, sporting his spify Aquaman-circa-1986 pants...
After a quick change, he's altogether surprised by his reception. People bow down to him like he's their lord and master, and blow bubbles at him.
But you guessed right if you pegged the cover's impostor Rom for the true ruler of Galador. He shows up in due time, sporting the very thunder of Zeus!
Dire Wraith? Why no! A quick zap of the analyzer shows he's Rom's mirror image. Where has human bits, faux-Rom (it's taking everything I have not to call him Ram) has robot bits, and vice-versa.
Now if you guessed this what was Terminator and Mentus did with the stolen remains of Rom, you've won our game! Ol' Terminator got back half a humanity for his lost one, and stolen Rom's chances to ever regain his forever.

To the Hawkmen, I mean angel guards, of course, the real Rom must be the impostor. I really enjoy their ultimate weapon too - the Horn of Heaven!!!
One vroooo later (as Galadorians tell time), and Rom is trapped in body-hugging stasis liquid listening to the origin of Mentus. Turns out the Prime Director had tried a new technique in which you sent your mind into Spaceknight armor, rather than having to undergo massive surgery. Unfortunately, only his dark side made it into the suit (serves him right for making it look villainous), and thus animated, became a force for evil. Now, the Prime Director is likewise in stasis, Terminator's been given Rom's soft bits, there are Dire Wraiths on Galador, and the plan is to fly the planet into the Wraiths' Dark Nebula. Cue the Space 1999 theme.
Great tune. Good thing Galadorians never look up at the stars, eh? Might give them 1) motion sickness and 2) a frickin' CLUE!

Anyway, Rom's much too badass to stay trapped in that aquarium stocking for long. He calls up his weapon from subspace, breaking the narrow stasis body stocking. Ya!
Next up: Freeing the Prime Director who, after 200 years of stasis, hasn't lost his bouffant hairdo or any of his muscle tone. Stasis is the schnitzel. From there, Rom and his PD break out all the Spaceknights who ever returned to Galador. And there are quite a few of them.
Some you know, like Starshine of the Light Eyes. Some you don't, like Rainbow and her gayification ray!
The freed Spaceknight army takes care of the angel elite and Mentus' Dire Wraith allies, but Rom has to go toe to toe with Terminatrom.
No fight though. Fighting never solved anything. No, Rom and Starshine make an appeal to the friend they once knew, and Terminator finally comes to his senses and turns on the Wraiths. He shoots them so hard, they vomit neutralizer energy!
"Not to banish... but to kill!"
"Beyond Limbo there is said to be a place of eternal fire..." So he basically hits them so hard, they overshoot Limbo and fall into Hell.

But what about Mentus? The Prime Director's gone after him. Mana a mano in psychic combat...
And the Director wins! But at the cost of his frail, old, buff body. Before he joins the Omni-Mind in the sky, he tells of a danger his expanded consciousness has become aware of, a danger called... Galactus!

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Steve and Brandy are just about the only ones not taken over by that strange subplot fog. It sure makes going to the drive-in a harrowing experience.
Worse still, the Torpedo's been affected too. They are alone!

Now, there IS a second story in the comic, something that happened before Rom left Earth, but it's the TRUE impostor of the comic. Written by Steven Grant, not Bill Mantlo, it's you by-now standard story of a Dire Wraith who's fallen in love with a human and so Rom looks the other way. I do like how the Wraiths' true forms look like puffs of smoke though.
But please, next time, double the Rom also means double the Mantlo!


Anonymous said...

Ahhh, "Space: 1999". You've seen this, right?

Siskoid said...


No, I hadn't. But then I'm not really a You-Tube kind of guy.

googum said...

I'd been waiting for you to get to this one, since it was one of the few I had as a kid! Oddly, I had it and the first two annuals, and seemed to like them, but didn't get more. I'm correcting that now!

Anonymous said...

Why do the Dire Wraiths look like a cross between the Michelin Man and Casper the friendly ghost?

Siskoid said...

The males do. Wait til you see the females.


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