Spaceknight Saturdays: Rom Dies!! (Not Kidding!)

The place: Somewhere in the USSR, site of a nuclear disaster.

The time: The early 1980s when the Reds were bad, and the comics were good.

The people: Rom, having been given a cloned human body, dying of radioactive rot, in Brandy "the new Starshine" Clarke's arms.

Oh and also: Stupid, stupid Russian soldiers walking into the radioactive zone to arrest them. Though Brandy is new at this Spaceknight thing, she's mega-powerful. And fueled by grief!
Not only does she melt their weapons, but they remain paralyzed for the rest of the story. Hey, she was trying to have a moment. Show some respect, heartless commies.

The Rom-zombie is not yet dead, and he asks Brandy to be brought back into the cave where Quasimodo gave him life. There's no way she knows how to reintegrate his fleshy bits with his armor, but help comes from the unlikeliest of places:
Gremlin, Son of Gargoyle, back from an encounter with the Hulk, hiding in the radioactive zone because he's been labeled an enemy to the state. He'll help Starshine get her lost love back if she protects him from the Soviet forces after him. And what Soviet forces, you ask?
The Rocket Reds!!!
Oh sorry, the Soviet Super-Troopers. My mistake. For the record, they were here FIRST.

Starshine unleashed her fury upon them. First, she blinds a number of them by searing their retina even through their tinted lenses. But that's not enough. So she turns a guy's armor into molten slag. Don't tell he survives this:
While Brandy is committing her first murders, the Gremlin finishes his work, and Rom's trademark eyes LIGHT UP!
His clone doesn't die right away though, so the two Roms have a chance to compare notes in a Most Pathetic competition.
Man, the Silver Surfer may feel sorry for himself, but Rom? Rom is actually jealous of his other self's misery, because it's way less miserable than his own! Yeah! After he is victorious in a battle of pure Emo, he goes after the Abbalicious Super-Troopers, bounces Devastator's energy back at the satellite that feeds him, and blows the whole thing to kingdom come.
One last lesson from the clone-Rom before he gives up the clone-ghost.
So Rom and Starshine's love gets approval from a gross zombie, and that version of Rom... dies.


Anonymous said…
Beware the false promise of peace from your enemies. If you foresake your honor in order to reclaim your humanity, you will lose both. Resisting evil will do violence to your body and soul, dehumanize you bit by bit, but appeasing it will utterly destroy you. Its better to be a cold warrior than dead.

Great Issue. Before WFB, Friedman, De Soto, Mises and Hayek, I read Mantlo, and in many ways it was a good primer.

For the record, I thought Mantlo did quite a public service by portraying the Soviet government as a force for evil. The American government was also regarded with circumspection in Mantlo's writing (Remember Project Safeguard?), so its not as if he was impugning the Russian people, just the murderous potential of runaway government. And I think we can agree, the old Soviet government was off the friggin' tracks.

Awesome cover art BTW, one of the best of the whole series IMHO.
Sea-of-Green said…
Y'know, it just ain't real love unless a gross, melting zombie says it's so!