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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Rom from the Bag

Well, here it is the last series from Mbag #1 (yes I received several that faithful week)
And even if it isn’t as off-beat as the other series, it’s still not what you would call a popular choice…Stan Lee Presents: The Greatest of the Spaceknights--ROM!

But wait, before you start throwing your rotting vegetable of choice, Rom really isn’t that bad…sure there are a few arcs which seem to be written by the writer’s dog….on a bad day…while he was sleeping, and the art is mucky in some places (Ditko really shouldn’t have taken this job) but on a whole the series has its merits…

It incorporates the entire Marvel universe and most of the well-loved Marvel mainstay pop up now and. In fact the issue that features the X-men is one of my all-time favourites, I remember buying it when it came out and re-reading it all through my childhood

The Rom character is based on an electronic action figure produced by Parker Brothers in 1979. Although the toy did not sell well, the Rom, Spaceknight comic book survived for 75 issues (over six years).

While I dissed the writer (Bill
Mantlo) a few minutes ago, he did manage to write the entire 75 issue (plus four annual) run of Rom was written. Mantlo is also known for his work on Alpha Flight, The Incredible Hulk, Micronauts, and The Spectacular Spider-Man. Which is both the strength and weakness of the the series, there is a real sense of cohesion to the story and you get the feel that Mantlo always knew where he was going with the series and managed to write a “straight story” from first issue through to the very last.
Alas even Stan Lee and Roy Thomas would have struggled to write a single character for 6 years and keep each and every book interesting.

Sal Buscema was the series' original artist and he penciled the majority of the series. He also worked with Mantlo on The Incredible Hulk for several years and has had runs as artist on Captain America, The Defenders, Marvel Team-Up, and The Spectacular Spider-Man. He was replaced by Steve Ditko, who co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, in Rom #59.
Sal is an inferior artist compared to his brother John, but who isn’t ? And Sal’s “thin-man” style, always had a sense of “shock, horror and drama” about it and it fits perfectly with the general sense of the series, he was THE man to draw those scary and outlandish Dire Wraiths.

If you can pick up this series on the cheap, I would go for it, you’ll get weeks of enjoyment out of them, but try to get the entire series, because it just doesn’t work in small doses and I wouldn’t want to be you if perchance you picked up a single arc and it turned out to be one of the few that aren’t really up to scratch.