Spaceknight Saturdays: Rom... Blows Against the Empire

That's the title! Honestly! Well, everything after the dots. I swear. And besides, it's not really true, as you'll see.

The fourth Annual picks up right where issue #71 left off, with our merry band of Spaceknights still trying to find Galador. An Annual would be a great place for them to make it, wouldn't it? Well first, there's one last member of the Spaceknight Squadron they haven't met.

And they won't. Pulsar's gone a little goofy (Galadorians have a real problem with post-traumatic stress) and when the Shi'ar pick him up, he's all like:
And they're all like, YOU die! And then, well, Shi'ar forces defeat him, and Dr. Tyreseus, a member of an enslaved cat-like race, is left to do the autopsy on his metal shell. Tyreseus has a slave's reflexes, doing his best CSI work for his Shi'ar overlords, but then he starts thinking. A lot.
Use the Spaceknight armor to get back at the Shi'ar? They'll regret the day they ever advanced their medicine to the point where a single man could graft himself into an alien armor!
The new Pulsar promptly destroys the ship he's on and heads off into space. Cue Rom and the Spaceknight Squadron coming upon the ship's wreckage. No sooner are they on the scene that two Shi'ar ships and the entire Imperial Guard (you know, the guys loosely based on the Legion of Super-Heroes) arrive and beam them aboard for trial.
Their evidence acquired by voodoo: The last words thought by a dead Shi'ar soldier!
Does anyone get away with murder in the Shi'ar Empire?! A battle ensues with the Spaceknights doing quite well against the Imperial Guard and Rom holding his own against Gladiator (the Superboy analog... or is that the OMAC analog? Either way, good pedigree). When Scanner's ultra-sensitive, Deanna Troi-like powers confirm Pulsar's hand in this, Rom surrenders. Honor and all that. If a Spaceknight did this, then he is responsible.

Thrown under a forcefield, the Spaceknights face execution and seem helpless when Pulsar attacks the ship. Scanner detects his arrival and also that it's not THEIR Pulsar (much to the relief of his lover, Volla the Trapper). Feeling absolved, Rom performs a trick that would have been real useful in some of the early issues of the series.
I guess he's growing. Striking a temporary truce, the Imperial Guard and Spaceknights route this Pulsar to a nearby planet and Gladiator unloads on him.
Harsh. With his dying breath, the poor guy tells his story: How he went back to his enslaved world and found people rather happy with their living conditions and glad their war-like past was behind them. Rejected and dejected, he just went out to destroy as many Shi'ar as possible, because well, they evolved from birds, right? To Gladiator, he's a traitor, pure and simple. But you know Rom and semantics...
The poet's impassioned speech makes Gladiator realize there's more to life than the Empire, like flowers and puppies and pie, and in gratitude, he uses the Shi'ar stargate on the planet to warp the Spaceknights to Galador.
Oh the bastard, he knew where it was all along...

Next: Secret Wars II !


Prime Director said...

Seeker, Trapper and even the essentially-powerless Scanner defeated their Guardsman opponents.

Rom did pretty good going hand-to-hand (mitten-to-hand?) against Gladiator. I'd call that one a draw.

Rom should've just blasted Kallark with the neutralizer and been done with it.

Austin Gorton said...

Marvel Universe Rule #23: Any character journeying through space must, at some point, encounter Gladiator or the entirety of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard.

You just haven't been to outer space 'til Gladiator knocks you around for a bit.

(This is similar to DC Universe Rule #2: Any character spending any time in Gotham City must encounter Batman in some capacity.)


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