Fanboy Masturbation: A proposal to Marvel Comics to retell Rom: Spaceknight.

January 25th, 2006 by | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Little known fact– we take guest articles here at 4l. So, if you got something you want to harp on, explain, or just pimp out, fire off an email to 4thletter/at/gmail.com and we can get you hooked up.

Speaking of guest articles (how’s that for a segue?), we’ve got one from a guy we’ve known for a while, one A.o.D. He’s here to tell you that Rom the Spaceknight is still a viable character. Read on.

Do you remember the first comics you ever read? Mine was ROM: Spaceknight #1. My father bought it for me and read it to me when I was four years old. He would read each issue as it came out. As you can tell, the book had a lot going for it from the start. Later in life I started recollecting the entire series for the sake of nostalgia. It didn’t hurt that a lot of the stories held up with the years. For me, ROM was a great comic that has run its course in normal Marvel continuity.

That doesn’t mean that the last Rom story has been told. What you’re about to read is one fanboy’s proposal to retell the story of the Greatest of the Spaceknights, either in the Ultimate universe, or as a MAX title. Read along as I tell you what its all about.

Story Outline

Though the Ultimates soundly defeated the Chitauri (skrulls) at the end of their first arc, there remain other, more patient menaces that have insinuated themselves into human societies. For the most part they remain undetected. However, their quiescence masks their true intention, the manipulation of humanity and the resurrection of their dreams of stellar imperium. It is up to one lone alien crusader to root out this threat. He will carry out his mission even if all the forces of humanity rise to oppose him. He is Rom: Spaceknight.

The Backstory, or Saga of the Spaceknights

Millenia ago, the Chitauri attempted to do to the Galadorans what they did to Earth. Their methods were much the same. However, even this long ago, the Galadorans enjoyed a level of cultural and technological development that far surpasses nearly any other civilization in the universe. When the lone Chitauri infiltrator failed to turn the Galadoran society upon itself, the Chitauri launched a massive invasion. The fight ended nearly before it began.

The Galadorans had paid dearly to achieve an idyllic society. Centuries of civil warfare, violence, and discord had caused them to nearly destroy themselves on numerous occasions. It wasn’t until a cultural, philosophical, and perhaps even physical evolution occured that the Galadorans were able to revolutionize their society and form a stable, peaceful union. A single philosopher king ruled the Golden League benevolently while each citizen knew their significance and worth within the society as a whole. It was this unified Galador that the Chitauri faced, and against it they had no hope.

Most of them escaped as their motherships were quickly destroyed. A relative few of the Chitauri were captured, and owing to their enlightened state, the Galadorans were loath to execute them. Instead, the captured Chitauri were imprisoned on a desolate planet orbiting a dying sun. The entire system was hidden within a (relatively, since space is mostly vaccuum) thick nebula and guarded with all manner of grim sentries. It was in this durance that the vanquished Chitauri were allowed to make whatever lives for themselves as they could.

An age passed. The Galadorans eventually forgot their martial prowess as well as the need to keep watch on what became known as the Black Nebula. Little attention was given to when a certain fading sun mysteriously became a black hole, even though such a fate should have been impossible for that star. Perhaps some became alarmed by this event, but when nothing immediately happened afterward, the matter was eventually forgotten.

Galadoran society continued to advance, particularly within the realms of knowledge and science. Lifespans of hundreds of years became the norm, and death by anything other than misadventure a shocking scarcity. Galadoran society withdrew into itself, choosing to avoid the other less ‘enlightened races’. Eventually, they became a near legend, and no outsider visited the Galadoran core worlds.

This ended when a plague wiped out an outer colony. No Galadoran survived it. No Galadoran doctor could cure it. All those that came into contact with it were doomed not only in body, but in spirit as well. This terrible disease, known as wraith-plague, was both magical (an art completely unknown to the science of Galador) and biological in nature. For the first time in a long time, the people of Galador knew anxiety.

This anxiety became fear when a fleet of strange, warped vessels poured out of the Black Nebula, destroying everything in its path. It had become clear that the old guardians had failed, and that whatever threats the Black Nebula hid had now borne fruit.

Onward the wraith-fleets poured, so named for their ability to strike and then disappear without any trace, bringing with them death, plague, destruction, and even worse. None of the nearly forgotten defenses stopped them, and as they bored ever deeper into the Galadoran Golden League, the populace quailed with terror. It had seemed that the fight had been lost before it had even began.

Hope came just in time, for as plans were being drawn up for a final desperate defense, the scientists of Galador revealed a plan to turn some of their best and brightest, most promising youths into living weapons of war. They would sacrifice their very lives so that they might do battle with the enemy. Their flesh would become living armor in order to protect them with the enemy’s horrific weaponry. They would be armed with the most devastating devices Galador could concieve. They would be pure of heart, pure of purpose, and pure of deed. None would prevail against them.

After the Spaceknight legion was created, they were sent off to do battle with the enemy. They were pitifully few, numbering only a thousand of Galador’s armored best. The enemy was numerous beyond counting. At first, the battle went poorly as dozens, and then hundreds of Galador’s space knights fought and died against the enemy.

Then one of their number rallied them and led them headlong into the midst of the enemy. Rom was his name, and until he had given up his body to become Galador’s shield he had been a humble poet. Now he lead his kinsmen to victory, and in the end, the wraith-fleet had been shattered just as surely as its predecessor Chitauri fleet.

As the remnants of this fleet disappeared into the vast universe, the Spaceknights of Galador paused to consider what they should do next. A few wanted to reclaim their discarded flesh, for they had earned a dearly won victory and should claim their place as heroes among their people. Rom again took up the mantle of leadership and suggested that each spaceknight chase after a fleeing wraith-ship and not only prevent the enemy from regrouping, but also protect any other civilization from knowing the horrors that were inflicted upon the Golden League.

These events comprise the subject matter that is the Saga of the Spaceknights. I’m by no means done just yet, so stay tuned to the 4th Letter true believers for a revision from the mighty (not) Marvel house of ideas!

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5 comments to “Fanboy Masturbation: A proposal to Marvel Comics to retell Rom: Spaceknight.”

  1. i concur they should definitely bring back ROM, there aren’t enough robots/cyborgs in comics nowadays.

  2. Rom was the fifth comic I followed as a kid. And it is one of two that I had the greatest number of. Rom should not only be retold in this fashion, but would also be worthy of a movie. Start it off with a strange UFO sighting, then bring ROM down (as in issue 1) and have him start torching wraiths before anyone knows what they are. But have that same beem hitting “real humans” and causing no death whatsoever. Then start to unfold the “flashback” story as the movie progresses.

  3. This is an outstanding re-boot! It tighttens the Marvel Universe, explaining the shape-changing Dire Wraiths as an offshoot of the Chitauri (nee Skrulls), why they are sorcerous and technological, and even justifies the need for the Spaceknights to BE living armor instead of simply men inside armor – biological warfare!

    Oh if I were running Marvel – or could get a movie deal, this would be in production tomorrow: part Outer Limits/X-Files and part Robocop.

    Pitch it like that! “X-Files meets Robocop”!

    I am an OLD fanboy and collected the vast majority of ROM. Loved that noble cyborg dearly.

    Thank you. This is a masterful update.

  4. BTW, if there is more, I want to read it. 😀

  5. I truly enjoyed Rom when I was young. It is disappointing that Parker Brothers, who own the rights to the character, will not allow Marvel to use him at all.