Most of you will no doubt recognize this illustration from the first page of ROM #1. To refresh your memory: http://johndouglasart.blogspot.com/2011/07/rom-spaceknight-repaneled-sort-of.html The black n white and unlettered version that you see to your left is a full page from the the Sal Buscema autobiographical book "Fast & the Furious". Interestingly enough this book was published last year and it wasn't published by Marvel. I wonder if they had to get permission to re-print the ROM production art or if the whole licensing thing didn't apply in this case? Now as some of you may have guessed I had some spare time on my hands on X-Mass weekend. This was one of those cases where after opening the image in photoshop I was just screwing around with it and one thing lead to another and before you know it I eventually ended up with what you see above.
Next we kick off the beginning of 2012 with a look at Forge's neutrilizer. But be careful, "you'll shoot your eye out kid."
As it happens I found this rendering by Gabriel Harderman (damn I wish that was my last name!) just before I picked up Defenders: Strange Heroes which is basically a Marvel Universe one shot of heroes affiliated with The Defenders both past and present. Both The Torpedo and Paladin made relatively brief appearances in a some what tongue n cheek story line that spanned 2 or 3 issues in which a series of A and B list heroes had try outs for joining the Defenders. This illustration would have made an awesome cover for a Marvel Team Up issue. Be sure to magnify the image it looks way better when it's bigger. Yeah, size matters. I was a bit bummed out that the book only published clip art (aside from the cover) of The Torpedo that showed up in past editions of the Official Marvel Universe Handbooks. But to my surprise in The Torpedo bio page they printed the words "ROM Spaceknight" which I thought was also prohibited along with having Rom's likeness in Marvel books these days? I dunno go figure. The Torpedo I'm quite familiar with of course but Paladin is a character I knew next to nothing about for many years up until recently with him being a regular now in the Heroes For Hire series. And I must say his character has grown on me quite a bit in a fairly short time especially given the interplay and pop culture quips between him, Spiderman and Misty Night. Sadly though we'll never get to see this team up as suggested in Hardman's illustration given the ill fated Brock Jones who perished during the dire wraith massacre of Clariton. He fought valiantly but he made the mistake of letting his emotions distract him during battle making it possible for a dire wraith to sneak up on him and tongue spike him in the back of his head. Most of you know by now I'm sure that the Torpedo armor would later be worn by Michoko Musashi who was part of The New Warriors under the super heroes alias of Turbo. Later the Dire Wraith queen Volx would appropriate the armor in a grand scheme against Earth's heroes. While in her possession we would learn that the armor had many more capabilities such as microwave and electrical energy manipulation. This posting is probably gonna do it for me for the rest of this year but rest assured I'll be back in January when Avengers Academy #24 comes out and we get to see what Hybrid is up to now that he's back. Hopefully we'll also get to find out exactly how he was brought back as well. And who knows maybe something cool and post worthy will come along before that.
Well, with 2011 coming to an end in a couple of weeks I thought I'd put together a collection of images of characters and story lines related to the ROM legacy that have been published this year by Marvel Comics. And let's not forget the DarkStar Winter Guard mini-series which came out in late 2010 with a story line that revolved around an abandoned Dire Wraiths base from ROM's adventures in the Soviet Union. So Marvel has not forgotten about ROM but we just need to goad them into taking that final step.
So in that vein I offer the next installment of my ROM Youtube slide show videos. One more thing, I dropped a package in the mail today consisting of print outs of the submitted fan art as well some other things I wanted to share with Bill Mantlo.
Martin from the Too Dangerous For A Girl blog http://dangermart.blogspot.com/ gave me a heads up earlier today about Avengers Academy #23 having something I would find of interest. Thanks for the heads up on this mate! So basically some members of the Avengers go out on a call to save an orphan mutant boy (Jimmy Marks) by some anti-mutant religious fanatics called the Purifiers. Jimmy is adamant about not being sent to the X-Men so the Avengers allow him to stay at Avengers Academy. Toward the end of the issue Jimmy reveals himself to be Hybrid to Reptil sensing that Reptil knows the truth about him. It also turns out that Hybrid knows that the psyche of Reptil's future self is inhabiting the body of the current much younger Reptil and that Reptil facilitated Hybrid's return (we don't know how exactly yet) for his own agenda. Hybird agrees to cooperate with Reptil (for now) under the promise of getting dominion over some of the Avenger cadets. Avenger Academy #24 will continue the Hybrid story line. The last time we saw hybrid in the Marvel Universe (1997) was back when he battled X-Man (Nate Grey) and was psi-blasted into atoms. For a recap of the issue: http://romspaceknightart.blogspot.com/2010/11/finally-x-man-32-extended-review-return.html
Here we have an absolutely perfect work of art! When it comes to fan art this kind of thing is really what I like to see. That is too say that it looks anything but amateurish. The action pose, the movement your eyes feel and the figure composition you see here is exactly what is meant when it comes to things drawn the "Marvel way". Penciled by Bobby Kro and colored by Matt Webb. The illustration looks even more awesome magnified. Yes, regardless of all my ex girlfriends trying reassure me it wasn't so we all know bigger is better!
Let me tell ya folks, try doing a re-paneling for once in your life and you will see things in the original art you've never noticed before even if you've looked at it a million times. Not only that but rather the original art was from an artist you liked or didn't like so much I can all but guarantee you'll develop some degree of a new sense of appreciation for it. To see more re-paneled published comic book art go to: http://repaneled.blogspot.com/
If you remember Marvel Age then you know this was basically newsletter type publication that among other things listed up coming Marvel and Marvel related publications hitting the stands in the next month or two. I had only learned recently that issue #27 (1985) had ROM among the collection of superheroes featured on the cover. So when I saw it a few days ago in a $1 bin I decided to grab it for obvious reasons. At the tail end of the ROM #68 listing take special note of the cover price which is among many reasons why I miss the 80's.
One of the followers of this blog (Rick Hansen, thanks!) posted a blog link on Facebook to an article about Bill Mantlo's situation these days. I'm sure you all don't need me to retell the sad tale about his accident and hospitalization. The article largely consists of an update on his condition but more importantly it'll let you know what you can do to make his life a bit easier. For all of you who are hard up financially right now (who isn't these days!?) don't worry it's not about money save perhaps a postage stamp. It has to do with mailing him a little something like a short thank you note or perhaps a copy of some fan art related to his past work. I'm going to be putting something of a care package together for him with hard copies of this blog and the ROM Spaceknight Forever 2.0 Youtube videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iU_Q-KHiWk&feature=related among other things so that he can see how much his legacy still lives on. That would be cool if he had internet access there at the care taker facility he is at. All the information about how and where to mail your letters/art work can be found at this link:http://www.co2comics.com/blog/2011/11/21/give-thanks-to-bill-mantlo/comment-page-1/#comment-1724 Please read it carefully and follow the instructions before preparing your letters/slash art work. If you've been thinking about doing some kind of fan art related to Bill's work during his career in the comic industry now is the time to get up off your butt and just get it done in time to send a copy of it to Bill before X-Mass and New Years. Please don't delay, it's really a small thing that could make a big difference to a man who gave us so much and most certainly is not better off then you are in all probability.
Now hear this! I'm in the process of producing another ROM multimedia slide show presentation video. I will feature any fan art produced for Bill Mantlo in it as well as on this blog. By the way folks Mike Mantlo just left a comment on the blog posting I left a link to just above.
I was browsing through a dollar bin at this book store in downtown Berkeley after I got off work today and happened to find Fantastic Four #577 which introduced the Universal Inhumans who live in a region of the Moon known as the Blue Area. There's been numerous postings about this issue over the past year or so but as of yet not one of them have been able to explain to me just who are these Universal Inhumans and how is it that a segment of the Dire Wraiths are part of it. After having read the issue once, and the last 10 pages or so over a couple of times it finally started to make some sense. Apparently the Kree experimented on not just humans but several alien species as well in the hopes of finding a way create a compatible yet diverse gene pool to break the Kree's evolutionary dead end. But only 5 species yielded any positive results. Of course The Inhumans developed from the experiments done on homo-sapiens but in Fantastic Four 577 we would also learn that the Dire Wraiths made up one of 4 alien species that now carried a universal "genetic marker" that would somehow provide the bio-diversity the Kree might need some day. Evidently Black Bolt of the Inhumans didn't like the idea of being some sort of pawn of the Kree and decided to travel to the Kree home world (Hala) with an Inhuman army to kick some ass and take names. In the meantime a Black Bolt messianic like cult following formed among the other 4 species who are now known as the Universal Inhumans. Their prophecy involves his return and to make all 5 former Kree experimented species one big happy family through a "Big Love" type marriage in which Black Bolt would take an Inhuman wife and one from each of the Universal Inhumans species. This would be a good time to take special note of the dialogue in the clip art. As you can see from the FF #9 (Future Foundations) clip art to the left from September it looks like they all tied the knot already. I wonder how that honey moon went? I'm a bit on the kinky side so I probably could have hooked up with the centurion chick and with his Inhuman wife Medusa. But as far as the other three go forget it not even after a 6 pack!
I really like where the artist was going with this it's too bad they never quite got around to finishing it. I don't think I ever had a name to go along with this art work but if the artist should happen to find this posting please let me know who you are so that I can properly accredit your work here. At any rate good job this coould have made for a really good variant cover of this issue that features the return of one of ROM's most deadliest enemies.
Thank you everybody who left a comment of support in the previous posting in regards to my ROM out of Limbo initiative. We can only hope that Marvel is paying attention because certainly they are aware of the cult following by now for this character. The Floating World fund raiser auctions for Bill Mantlo's medical care (all ROM fan art), the first Annihilators series, the continued presence of Ikon on the team and even Jonathan Hickman's nod to the ROM legacy in FF#9 which only came out a couple weeks ago is clear evidence of that. And the Dire Wraiths who are synonymous with ROM have been a pretty regular menace in the Marvel Universe for over 30 years now. I know just as there are ROM fans out there, there are also those who don't understand all the bruhaha over him. All I can say is that for those of us who grew up with him he was the Optimus Prime/Robocop of his time. Like Optimus he was a powerful and noble figure with obvious leadership qualities but as a cyborg he also was in constant torment like Robocop always yearning for his former life as a man. As a kid you could look up to him but also relate to him as a stranger in a strange land who was often uncomfortable in his own "skin". Also consider this when thinking about comic book titles that are based on toy lines which basically fall into two groups. On one hand you had comic book titles that had the benefit of toy lines that enjoyed some success on the market first. In the case of The Transformers and G.I.Joe we're talking about wildly successful toy lines. In other cases like The Micronauts and Shogun Warriors it was toy lines that enjoyed at least some success for a period of time. But there's more titles then I can remember that were based on toy lines that were virtually D.O.A when they hit the market for which the comic titles they inspired soon followed usually cancelled within 4 to 9 issues. The Inhumanoids, Visionaries, Sectaurs and Air Raiders are among the many who are good examples of that. Don't feel bad if you don't remember or otherwise have never heard of these titles you obviously didn't miss much. But not ROM Spaceknight! Despite being based on a single electronic doll that was poorly marketed and fell flat with the public his series never the less spanned 75 monthly issues and 4 annuals. And that was over 25 years ago and as you've read already in this posting ROM still has plenty of staying power despite this licensing bullshit that's dogged the mythology. All we can do at this point is hope that my correspondence with Dan Abnett will be the first step to something great happening in the near future as opposed to just going nowhere. Any new information that comes my way on the matter I'll be sure to post it here right away. Another good reason why Marvel needs to bring ROM back is because he's bad ass rather a spaceknight or human. At one point during the series ROM makes a deal with Quasimodo The Living Computer to exchange his armor in return for being cloned from the living cells contained within the armor. The deal goes bad when ROM realizes that his new body is faulty and starts to decay. Despite this however when ROM crosses paths with Dr. Dredd (a wraith warlock) who he instinctively recognizes as a Dire Wraith he attacks him unarmed with out hesitation. Despite Dredd's shape shifting abilities and ROM's dying body ROM manages to strangle Dredd to death with his bare hands! In or out of Galadorian armor ROM is bad ass and that's why Marvel needs to man the f__k up and get him out of legal limbo and back into the mainstream Marvel Universe again!
Barring anything Earth shattering ROM related falling into my lap I'm probably gonna be on something of a hiatus for a while but I'll still be checking and responding to comments.
I just came up with the idea of trying to contact Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning on FB yesterday and woe and behold look who I hear back from first thing early in the morning about taking my idea to Marvel's legal department. I replied to Dan by letting him know about what I've seen and heard about the buzz surrounding ROM on this blog as well as stuff like the Comics Alliance ROM http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/03/09/rom-spaceknight-comics/ posting just before the 1st Annihilators series and more recently what went on at Jim Shooter's blog http://www.jimshooter.com/2011/06/coming-of-rom-knights-tale.html So let's just hope Marvel's legal department seriously takes this under consideration. So while we wait here's some for your viewing pleasure in the mean time . . . .
Left click on FB screen image capture to magnify This is a commission piece that had been worked on for some untold melania now by Scott Rosema for Tony who is one of the billions of followers of this blog. But now that it's done we can all marvel at it. There's so much cool stuff going on I don't even now where to start. The colors are the first thing that really grabs me about this. The flames on Firefall, Starshine's light eyes or the reflections on the Deathstar like flooring are just a few of the features that makes this such an awesome illustration to ogle at. Be especially mindful of how the artist maintained the integrity of the Galadorian Hall of Science setting and the attention to detail. Tony, the proud owner of this piece has a few words he wants to share with the viewers, "This is another awesome commission piece done by Scott Rosema for my buddy Tony the Fyrfall. Set in the Hall of Science, we can see the Spaceknights defending their human remains against some unseen threat. Notice the attention to details like the reflections, colors, wall art, and names on the crypts."
I was tinkering around with this ROM drawing from his page in the Marvel Universe Handbook (#9 Vol. 1) art work. I ended up giving the drawing a black back ground, glowing eyes and some Micronaut style fonts. Then I came across what I think is the coolest Torpedo custom figure I've seen out there. And believe it or not this one is at least 1 of the 3 that I know of. His visor looks especially awesome! So I thought it might be cool to dress up the image with some cool fonts along with some lighting affects. The link below will take you to my Youtube video on Annihilators Earthfall #1. I'm not happy with the decreased pg count and the cover price along with the RR back story but for what it's worth it did have some high points such as this nod to the ROM legacy with this line IKON drops on these aliens which happen to be disguised as humans. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2ueLWAmq9o
And here's something I just learned about Friday afternoon thanks to a comment left on the last posting before this one by a fellow who goes by the name of Brandon. The comment was vague but it prompted me to check out FF#9 on Youtube where I fortunately found a reviewer (majinoni6) who pointed this out. What you see here is one of several Reed Richards from different dimensions involved in some sort of conflict with the Inhumans. There is a sect of Dire Wraiths who are part of some alien cult that worships King Black Bolt. As you can see here "Reed" turns a familiar looking weapon on some Dire Wraiths. We've been seeing the Dire pop up in the FF series a couple of times now and I know we'll be seeing more of them in issues 10 & 11. So if you've seen my Annihilator Earthfall Youtube video you know I'm not too happy with Marvel right now. But I must say this homage to ROM has made some in roads to Marvel getting back on my good graces. So last year we had Darkstar: Winter Guard and this year we've got the Annihilators and now this. It seems if nothing else the ROM buzz has made it's way to Marvel's high ups in the last year or two so I guess that's cause for some cautious optimism. Operative word here "cautious".
Some of you who have been following this blog for a while now may recognize the art work you see here. If so that's because I featured it in a posting back in December but at the time the photo image I had found was only of the portion of the trailer that had the actual ROM illustration it's self with very little background. So it was next to impossible to tell what the image was painted on even though that didn't stop us all from wild speculation. Well now the mystery is over thanks to a link left a few days ago in the comments section of the original posting: http://romspaceknightart.blogspot.com/2011/02/galadorian-graffiti-rom-as-public-art.html What you are looking at here is a mobile laboratory from M.I.T. Unfortunately that's all the information I have on it but at least now the mystery is solved as to what and where this ROM "thumbs up" illustration is done on. Ya see folks, this is why I love people who take the trouble to leave comments on blog sites. The exchange of opinions and information really does make the blogging experience funner and because among other things it can lead to cool discoveries like this one.
September 20 update Case and point, thanks to a comment left by ~P~ from The Sanctum Sanctorum on the previous posting I found out about a what I can only describe as a Defenders "where are they now" Marvel Handbook. I suppose it's some sort of index about the status of pretty much every one who's ever been a member of The Defenders. That includes The Torpedo who as I understand it was on the team between issues 62-64. You see him in the bottom right hand corner of issue 64 there? So anyways it looks like The Torpedo will not only get a mention in the book but he also made in on the cover which I think is pretty cool. The Defenders handbook is due to debut some where around December. For a Defenders #64 recap go to: http://defendersfan.blogspot.com/2008/12/defenders-for-day.html
Ok so maybe given that The Torpedo (the unofficial side kick of ROM) is even a more obscure 70s - 80s Marvel character then ROM to say that I've found the best Torpedo art ever isn't saying much. Especially since I'm pretty sure I could count all the fan art of the Torpedo ever done on both hands and still have some fingers left over. But that still does not take away from this being an awesome illustration in which we haven't seen The Torpedo looking this good since back in the day when Sal Buscema use to draw him in the pages of ROM. But I don't want to take anything away from other Marvel artists who have drawn him because he was done up pretty well also in his debut appearance in Daredevil and then later in Marvel Premiere. Here, I just love the colors and the action pose he's in. The artist has a great grasp on perspective and proper proportions that also look dynamic which is something I always like to see in comic book character art figure drawings. Also it is worth mentioning that The Torpedo has his own micro hero and that over the past year I've come across more then one custom figure made of him. In case you were wondering I found this on Deviant Art and it was done by a talented fellow by the name of Jordi Lupo. Be sure to magnify the image it's a pretty large file.
Yeah that's right an inside job. 19 guys came inside our boarders pretending to be here for legitimate reasons and hid in plain site (just like the Dire Wraiths and with that analogy we see again how art imitates life) until they hijacked four planes filled with civilian Americans and non Americans alike. They then crashed these planes into buildings full of more people who were just like you and me and unlike you and me. The people who were murdered that day were about as random as you could get being made up of many races, religions and other belief systems both political and social. One of the many ironies here is that each one of the hijackers came from a part of the world in which the governments who rule there are among the most brutal and suppressive on the face of the Earth. Not only that but the hijackers carried out their mission to murder out of some self righteous radical religious ideology thinking that the mass murder of random people will bring them 72 virgins in paradise. Don't buy into that crap that this was all about America's foreign policy (which I'm not saying is beyond reproach) or that the hijackers came from any manner of moral high ground. Living here in the San Francisco Bay Area I've heard it all. An "inside job", really? Why wasn't anybody saying that after the first WTC attack in 94? Oh wait it was "because we're allies with Israel" really? Is that why all the 911 hijackers were from countries (egypt & saudi arabia) that are also "allies" with America. Egypt even has had a long standing peace treaty with Israel. I especially love the "what did we do to make them so angry at us" line of thinking. That's like being a Jew and spending time analyzing why neo-nazis and other anti-Semitic groups like the taliban hate you and want to see you dead. In the face of that kind of hatred one must always respond appropriately which is any way but nicely. Yesterday I heard that just 8 weeks ago was the last time someone died of a disease they contracted as a result of being in or nearby ground zero on 911. We owe it to that person, as well as to the people who died out right that day and to God knows how many others that are sick in both body and spirit still today to see that everyone who was involved in that terror plot gets a surprise visit from a U.S. SEAL team soon.
I'm just feeling kinda sentimental these days so please enjoy my latest bit of digital "trickeration". From what I've been reading out there about the Annihilators Earthfall mini-series I'm not sure I'll be doing any reviews for it. Other then IKON's membership on the team, I feel like there really isn't anything especially relevant about the series that I should post about here. What ever I can say about it in general will certainly be easily found in a dozen reviews out there with the bloggers and on Youtube. But as long as the story is entertaining I'll be picking it up especially if it offers some good character development for Ikon. I'm interested to see how she reacts to being on Earth for the first time and to it's heroes considering the inevitable rumble between the two teams. I imagine Earth must be something of a legend to Galadorians by now. Other cool stuff with Ikon I'd like to see is if she and Quasar hook up or perhaps even her commending Ronin for demonstrating to her in their adventures thus far that there's more qualities then one's raw power level that makes for a great warrior. So those are certainly some possible things I might feel inclined to post about in the coming months. It's funny, even though I've read the panel art online already over a year ago ever since buying HULK #418 (1994) a few weeks back in which ROM and Brandy show up at Rick Jones's wedding as a happy couple I find myself kinda wishing they had left the whole Galador/Spaceknight thing alone at that point. It just goes to show you how reading ink on paper can make for a different experience and let you connect better with the content. Or maybe they could have at least brought back Galador and the Spaceknights with out Brandy Clark being in the forefront of the story. That way so that they could have just made a couple references to the King & Queen of Galador and leave us to assume ROM & Brandy are fine and just working behind the scenes on whatever is going on. Continuing the Dire Wraith threat would have been fine of course under any story line especially since Marvel has been using them off and on for many years now including recently in Future Foundations and Darkstar: Winter Guard. Anybody remember this portion of the panel that introduced Brandy in Annihilators #2? She's obviously looking at a portrait of ROM wearing armor in human form. For reasons which I can't imagine I'm pretty sure it was drawn with part of the decor in the chamber obscuring his face as you see here. Knowing that we're gonna probably be subjected to Marvel tiptoeing around the ROM name for years to come makes me feel a lot like Brandy here in this panel. Just feeln bummed out right now about the whole thing cause if it wasn't for this licensing shit I know Marvel would have brought him back by now. Probably not as a monthly series but surely in guest appearances here and there especially when it came to cosmic adventures.
How Marvel can have ROM back with getting sued here it is : In regards to the Annihilators and the continuation of the Galador/Spaceknights mythology in the Marvel Universe did it ever occur to them to just have ROM back in human form and just print his name as "ROMM"? Or even "RAHM" (actually pronounced as "Rom") as in Rahm Emanuel the former White House chief of staff. Galadorians are humanoid and can pass as human so who knows maybe some are Jewish too (just kidding). Anyways, how could Marvel possibly be sued for going that route!? As it is they do stuff like that all the time with brands that show up in comic book stories like when somebody is holding what is obviously a Coke can but their fingers are covering part of the wording. Ok now how do we get my brilliant idea to Marvel and or Abnett & Lanning? I recently got around to establishing a Deviant Art account and ran into some dude named Jason Heichel who is the only other person I know of who has done some IKON fan art. It was great but it was uncolored and it was just calling out to me. Please magnify the image it's even better in detail.
And on other matters of ROM Spaceknight art work Ptor and The Sanctum has a posting up currently of an alternate ROM #1 cover. What are your thoughts on it versus what ended up being published? You can find the alt cover and what I think about it here: http://sanctumsanctorumcomix.blogspot.com
You all remember the X-Men Classic series from the late 80s and 90s? It's where Marvel was reprinting a bunch of original X-men issues with different covers and they also featured an original back story. This series was a good marketing move on Marvel's part it had a lot to do with what got me into the X-Men.Well I came across X-Men Classic #91 (bottom clip art) in some $1 bins a couple of days ago. I have the original X-Men issue (#187) of course but I'd never seen the X-Men Classic variant version which prompted me to find the X-Men Classic cover for 90 which naturally reprints X-Men #186 which I also have. And in case you didn't know X-Men issues 185, 186,187 and 188 feature a Dire Wraith cross over storyline in which the Wraiths try to take down Forge because of the Neo-Neutrilazer he was developing to aid ROM in the Wraith War on Earth. For a recap go to: http://siskoid.blogspot.com/2009/07/so-whats-this-about-forges-dire-wraith.html I thought it might be interesting to do a comparison of the covers and get some opinions on which you all like better. In the case X-Men 186 & X-Men Classic 90 I have to say I've always liked the original but the new one does add something extra to it that I like seeing as the story also featured a skirmish Rogue had with the Dire Wraiths. Even with the slightly exaggerated Billy Idol sneer on Rogue's face I'm kinda torn on this one. But in the case of X-Men 187 & X-Men Classic 91 it's a no brainer the original cover is far better. It's not that the X-men Classic cover is so terrible but to me what hurts it the most is how the lead Wraith looks. I just don't like the way it's drawn it kinda reminds me of a bad sci-fi B movie prop. And as you can see the original cover looks really good especially where composition is concerned. So what do you folks think? If your wondering why I didn't include X-Men issues 185 and 188 or their corresponding X-Men Classic issues in this posting is because neither versions of the covers feature any Wraiths.
So part of my $1 bin score yesterday included #1 of the Winter Guard 3 issue mini-series. I had already done a posting about this series but it sucked cause it was just based on information I could find online. Pretty much all of which is not provided from ROM fans or those interested much in the Dire Wraiths. Well that's about to change. It all starts with the secret Wraith base in Russia that ROM, Starshine and the Soviet Super Soldiers went up against in ROM # 45 and 46: http://siskoid.blogspot.com/2009/03/spaceknight-saturdays-back-in-ussr.html Even though they killed all the Wraiths there the base remained intact which was later discovered and it along with it's technology was utilized by the Russian government. Now part of this story revolved around a character who used to be part of the various Soviet super hero teams but went M.I.A. at some point. Her name is Fantasma and has powers that are supernatural in nature. She's discovered during some kind of super natural weather disturbance and falls out of the sky complete with this hot purple Victory's Secret neglige. Unfortunately, it turns out she's a Dire Wraith who supposedly escaped Immortus's realm in Limbo (remember him from Annihilators #4?) after a year there and returned to Earth somehow. Which means of course this hot chick who wears an out fit that would even make Vampirella and Satana blush is actually butt ugly in her true form. As if that doesn't suck enough by it's self she also has this plan of hatching all these Wraith egg spores hidden somewhere in The Citadel. How the Russians never discovered these eggs all these years is not explained. Maybe the place was understaffed due to budget cuts or something I don't know go figure. You see I told ya, butt ugly! Now of course you know a big show down is coming between the Winter Guard and Fantasma is coming but before that there is some preliminary battles including and "aerial rodeo show" Ursa Major has with some Deathwings. You can see that here: http://comicsvanguard.blogspot.com/2010/08/here-is-ursa-major.html But when the final show down does occur it involves a number of Wraith eggs that have hatched as well as the Winter Guard and another Russian super team called the Protectorate. During the fever pitch of the battle the new Darkstar is tongue spiked by one of the Wraiths in the back of her head and it comes out of her mouth! Now apparently the new Darkstar has the powers and "spirit" of the original through some sort of gem she wears. When the Wraith takes on Darkstar's form which is typical after they suck out someone's brains something unexpected happens. The Darkstar force apparently possesses the Wraith and in the process some how the original Darkstar is reanimated. Now I don't pretend to understand 100% how that happened but I'm sure the last couple of paragraphs of the Darkstar history section on her Marvel wiki page can do a better job of it: http://marvel.wikia.com/Laynia_Petrovna_%28Earth-616%29 The reborn Darkstar eradicates the Wraith hatchlings and rallies her comrades to defeat Fantasma by some how sending her back to Limbo. And in just like a Michael Bay film all our heroes make good their escape as the Citadel blows up into smitherenes. So that's it based on my reading of the first issue and what I could research about issue's 2 and 3 which hopefully I'll find some day in another back issue bin. Some of the stuff I've read on blogs about this series kinda criticized the writers for making Fantasma a Wraith and reviving what they considered an irrelevant 80's franchise. This ROM centric summery of the Darkstar Winter Guard mini- series is my way of saying fuck em!
August 26 Update: I just found Darkstar Winter Guard # 2 and 3 yesterday. It looks like my summery of the mini-series was pretty accurate as it turns out. But what's also worth mentioning is that there is also some discussion about the Dire Wraiths that are in Limbo trying to invade the realm of Immortus. This ties-in to Annihilators #4 in which the team brings Volx to Limbo and have a run in with Immortus who as it turns out has the dominion over the Wraiths there. It also turns out that Fantasma is an escaped Wraith from Limbo.
Ok so I got rid of the bogus ROM information I had here originally (see comments section). This however isn't bogus. It's digital art I created a couple months back from some borrowed images that I put together in a single setting and fine tuned. I had done it originally for another blog for which it would have been more ideal but that doesn't look like it's gonna happen anytime soon so I decided to post it here cause I'd like for it to be featured somewhere then nowhere at all.
Here's a guy I've been hearing more about in recent months. It turns out that this guy is quite accomplished in the comic book industry. You may have seen him featured in other blogs out there you've visited or go to on a regular basis. Cinar is from Turkey of all places which hasn't been at the top of my list of favorite foreign countries in recent years thanks to the anti-Western rhetoric coming from it's prime minister along with it's close ties to iran. But now thanks to Cinar's work I can say at least one good thing has come from that country.
Here's a real treat for all you Firefall fans especially. I can only assume this one was inspired by ROM #4 and or Marvel Team Up # 99. I wish I knew who did this it's pretty hot (yeah bad pun intended) . Would the real artist for this please stand up? Be sure to magnify this one to get a better look at the details.