The Rom, Spaceknight Comic Book

The entire 75 issue (plus four annual) run of Rom was written by Bill Mantlo. Mantlo is also known for his work on Alpha Flight, The Incredible Hulk, Micronauts, and The Spectacular Spider-Man. Sal Buscema was the series' original artist and he pencilled 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. What follows is a summary of the entire series.

Rom came from the peaceful planet Galador, which was populated by humanoids that look much like Terrans. After the Galadorian space fleet was decimated by the Dire Wraiths without provocation, the call went out to the young people of Galador to give up their humanity to become Spaceknights. Spaceknights were cyborg (half-human, half-machine) warriors, each armed with a different power or weapon. Galadorians were taught to treasure their humanity, so this was the supreme sacrifice for them. Rom was the first to volunteer, but millions followed his example. One thousand were chosen to become Spaceknights.

When the Dire Wraiths reached Galador, they fought the Spaceknights and lost. Unsatisfied with the Spaceknights' victory, Rom followed the Wraith fleet back to Wraithworld. There, the Wraith witches used their sorcery to delay Rom while the Dire Wraiths escaped across the universe. At Rom's urging, the Spaceknights went on a quest to track down and eradicate the Wraiths.

For 200 years, Rom tracked Wraiths across the cosmos. He was eventually led to Earth. When Rom banished Dire Wraiths to Limbo, it appeared to humans that he was killing fellow humans, as the Wraiths had disguised themselves and been living among humanity for decades. The first Terran he encountered was Brandy Clark of Clairton, West Virginia. He convinced her he was telling the truth and eventually convinced the entire town. Rom also met his greatest ally, the Torpedo, when Brock Jones (the Torpedo's civilian identity) and his family moved to Clairton.

After cleansing Clairton of Wraiths, Rom began traveling the world, fighting Dire Wraiths wherever he found them. He also met many super heroes and super villains. Eventually, with the help of the U.S. government, the mutant Forge, and nearly every major super hero on Earth, Rom banished all Wraiths on Earth in a final, desperate battle. This battle also resulted in the destruction of Wraithworld, which the Dire Wraiths had mystically summoned across space to replace Earth in its orbit around the sun. Unfortunately, most of Rom's allies and friends in Clairton, including the Torpedo, had been killed before this final battle, except for Brandy Clark.

Upon the Wraiths' defeat, Rom went in search of Galador, which had been moved to an unknown location by the powerful being known as Galactus. He left Brandy Clark, who was in love with him, behind. The humanity not grafted into Rom's armor had been destroyed during Galador's encounter with Galactus. (Rom had returned to Galador briefly after he arrived on Earth.) Thus he thought he could never be human again and their love was doomed.

While Rom was searching for Galador, Brandy Clark encountered the god-like being known as the Beyonder. The Beyonder granted her wish of being with Rom by sending her to Galador. There, she discovered the human population all but eradicated by a second generation of Spaceknights who had turned on their creators. Rom defeated them with the help of other members of the original group of Spaceknights. Brandy discovered Rom's lost humanity, which was inexplicably contained in a energy sphere of some type. Upon touching it, Rom reverted to his human state. Rom and Brandy continue to live on Galador, working on repopulating it while what's left of the original Spaceknights stand guard in space.