Thursday, September 30, 2010

ROM #76 - "If you will it, it is no dream"

He awoke to the sound of machines, his conscious mind peeling away layers of reality that had filled his mind for what seemed like an eternity. Was it all a dream? Gone were the visions of his life which he had come to accept as reality, yet not completely. Even now, bathed in the dim glow of fading electronic light, he somehow had always known his world was not real. Some intangible urgency had pressed at the back of his mind, forcing him to secretly question everything around him. The dreamer had awoken and sat motionless as the dream faded away. What of his home world Galador? What of his wife and children? And where are they now? “I am . . .Quasimodo,” a mechanical voiced breathed away weakly from the darkness. Feeling the energy slowly returning to his body. “I,” the dreamer spoke in an attempt to respond. “am ROM. Greatest of the Spaceknights”.

The following is the hypothetical opening in a plot line by Rush Montgomery for a continuation of the ROM anthology, beginning with issue 76 entitled ‘Reboot”. ROM discovers that the life he "lived" since striking the bargain with Quasimodo (see issue 42) was not reality. That "life" was merely the result of Quasimodo's computer manipulations of ROM's subconscious. Now ROM is awake, and in desperate need of answers to make sense of it all.
We are hoping for feedback from YOU ALL for the possibility of the ROM 76 project. Please leave a comment and share your opinions for this hypothetical premise ( likes, dislikes, ups, downs, pros, cons we want to hear it all from you ). Artists who might be able to contribute are also encouraged to contact us to find out more. For a recap of ROM #42 go to:


  1. I would ordinarily be against such an extended dream sequence, but since the series had really nowhere to go after the Wraiths were destroyed en masse, it might have been a way to go.

    My Rom #76 has Rom take back the mantle of the Spaceknights and sacrificing his happiness when a new Wraith threat arises, perhaps from Limbo itself.

  2. Not a fan of jettisoning more than a third of published canon to "electronic dreamstuff"...

    While a fan-based anthology is an awesome idea, that story is best used as a back-up to # 42, perhaps an extended "retcon" of what happened between ROM's being put under and his reclaiming his identity.
    The thoughts of ROM's humanity, encased in a stasis cube while his clone ran around in the flower gardens.

    Claremont used to do those kinds of fill-in events between the panels in the late "Classic X-Men" series.
    That's the kind of story this Quasimodo one seems to be.

    While I DO agree that much of what came after (especially during the Ditko years) wasn't all that good, I'd hate to lose so much history to a "dream".

    Sorry guys.


  3. MY idea for ROM # 76 is for him to save untold worlds by using his "toaster-head" to make satisfying toaster-pastries to satiate Galactus' awesome hunger.

    Every issue would see a new world and a new way for ROM to bake wholesome, nutritious goodness into life-saving morsels.
    All the while, cosmic entities, like EGO the Living Planet and the SPHYNX try to steal Galactus' lunch.

    Think of it as a series of "Hostess Fruit Pie" ads, but with a lot of punching.


  4. I hope you don't mind, but I posted a blog entry on my site about this project and my silly idea and where it all could lead to another possible fund-raiser for Bill Mantlo.

    Check it out here:


  5. It's an intriguing idea especially since it would do away with some of the dumb stuff like the neo neutralizer making a whole world and sun disappear, the generation II cup holder for hands spaceknights, the lame Adam n' Eve ending and other stuff like that horrible spaceknight mini-series. But a lot of good stuff happened after #42 as well that i don't want to see invalidated. It's kinda like throwing the baby out with the bath water pardon the cliche. I don't know how to vote on this but I'll check it out if this project ever takes off.

  6. what's really intriguing is that profile photo your using. people have come up with some imaginative stuff before but a photo of themselves taking a dump is pretty original.

  7. See here's my stance on it... A lot of avid Star Trek fans were up in arms about a "new" origin of the crew of the Enterprise, and yet it came out and rocked and they hushed. I'm not proposing that we erase everything after issue 42... my proposal is that we truly wake Rom up and then reintroduce familiar future elements to his world and pick and choose the good stuff from issues past 42 and retcon out the crap. I see the Ditko art as a period when Rom was beginning to wake up and so the dream became less realistic and more...bad (haha) and everything from Rom 75 to the Spaceknights mini-series was lived in skipping moments up to the beginning of Spaceknights 1 when Rom "died" in his ship explosion. So essentially by waking him up having it all be a shared dream between Rom and Quasimodo, we can erase all that junk.... BUT since the dream was extrapolated from things inside Rom and Quasimodo, it could have spelled out future events as they would have run had he been awake, we factor in some kind of space-time pan-dimensional mumbo jumbo and we can justify anything. After all, we're not erasing GOOD canon, we're erasing the bad stuff. Rom had very little exposure in any other comic series, so we're not screwing with ALL Marvel canon, only that which applies to the worse parts of the Rom series.

    Heck for that matter, it doesn't even have to have been a dream as we know it. Quasimodo could have shifted Rom's conscious into a very real alternate reality where all the events of Rom 43-75 really did happen... It's a comic book so we have free reign to do anything.

  8. If only Marvel could get the licensing would be interesting to see ROM show up in Exiles. I know that's a bit off topic, but it'd be a way to have ROM, and not mess around with any cannon.

  9. The Wraith War was intertwined too closely with the rest of the Marvel Universe to just wipe out everything that follows issue #42.

    I'm all for a Who-Shot-JR retconn, if only to annihilate the Spaceknights limited series, in all its loathsomeness. Undoing the destruction of Galador in the series finale would also be a worthwhile goal.

    I favor using the Prime Director's Golden Globe of Power as the plot device to accomplish the series reset. Call it a cosmic containment device (non-cube cosmic cube). The possession of a cosmic-cube-like device would help explain one of the great feats from the series - Mentus moving the entire Golden Galaxy through space (the Pegasusians, who worked for the Beyonders, had ringships that could move single planets through space, but they had to put then entire populace in statis to accomplish this; Mentus moved stars, planets and everything else in the Golden Galaxy, without disturbing a single living thing).

    The retcon I propose goes something like this:

    After Galactus "killed" Terminator, and Terrax buried him, the people held a funeral service, and interred their fabled warrior and honored leader with the symbols of Galador's highest office - the Living Lightning and the Golden Globe of Power (did anyone bother to explain the Galadorians that the "Rom" who had ruled their planet for almost 200 years was actually Terminator? I don't think so.)

    But Terminator is not dead. His brain patterns were preserved in a suit of spaceknight armor, but he's no more alive than, say, the Vision (inarguably less so). So, not truly dead, he lay dormant in his crypt, unconsciously using the Globe to re-enact the destruction of his own planet (remember, his world was destroyed by the Wraiths) on Galador... until Brandy found him.

    Brandy touched his armor and a mysterious glowing globe appeared, which she then used to restore Rom's humanity. The glowing globe from Rom #75 is the Prime Director's Golden Globe of Power.

    It is a cosmic cube, and thus is sentient, and it wanted to get the hell away from Terminator because he's insane. When Brandy showed up, the cube decided to go with her.

    So in this narrative, Brandy's been using the Golden Globe of Power to create a dream world where Rom is Arthur and she is Guinevere and they rule a Camelot-like world.

    It all goes awry for Brandy for the same reason it went awry for Doctor Doom in Secret War #12 - her unconscious fears and desires shape reality just as much as do her conscious decisions. She can't handle the power. So everything that she and Terminator did with the "cube" since issue # 27 unravels.

    Galador is still a battle-scarred wreck from the Galactus encounter; Rom, Trapper, Seeker and Scanner are still alive (the 2G spaceknights were conjured by the fever-dreaming Terminator); No Balin, No Tristan, no 3G Spaceknighs.

  10. I'm sorry it's been nearly ten days since you left this story line comment and i'm just seeing it now. first i just wanted to say you really put some thought into that in order to help explain some of the more peculiar aspects of the ROM Spaceknight anthology. second i wanted to say welcome to the blog Prime Director i've got some great art i'll be posting between now and Thanksgiving so i hope you'll be back.

  11. But doesn't that just use another plot mechanic to accomplish the same thing. In your version Brandy is in control of crafting false scenerios and in mine it's Quasimodo. It's the same premise, just retold from another perspective with a different plot device. Why not just keep what I've come up with and incorporate your ideas into that. It sounds like you definitely know your Rom history (and plenty of tangential information) and I feel like if we worked together on this, we could come up with something worthy of a major motion picture. =P Boy, wouldn't that be something?

  12. Zipdot,

    It was not my intent to downplay the originality and elegance of your approach to a reboot of the series. I apologize for jumping right into criticism of your idea without giving it all due praise.

    I am an enthusiastic supporter of the ROM 76 project and I find your story in many ways appealing. But I have to say, I've always found ROM #42 to represent the nadir of the series, so I'm naturally reluctant to support freezing the series at this particular moment in time.

    In #42, ROM surrenders his armor and allows Galador's greatest weapon to fall into unworthy hands. Its ROM's most ignoble and shameful act... other than giving up the fight against the Wraiths in #75 and living "happily ever after" with Brandy on what's left of Galador. Whatever happened to hunting them down to the furthest ends of the cosmos?

    As an aside, I temper my disappointment at ROM's failure to resist Quasimodo's offer in #42 with the knowledge that ROM has just faced the mystical embodiment of the sorcerous Black Sun in the form of the Dweller of the Threshold in #41. He was broken by the Dweller's promises of reunion with his lost loved ones, and only Dr. Strange's intervention saved him. So the confrontation with the Dweller, in the fiend's home dimension, during the Cosmic Alignment (remember that?) took a heavy toll on ROM's psyche.

    Apart from this, there are logistic problems with rewriting Marvel history after #42 in such a way as to remove ROM from the official continuity. The impact alone of ROM on Forge and Forge in turn on Storm and the X-Men creates a nearly insurmountable hurdle in this regard. If, however, you rewrite the narrative from #75 on, you don't have to change much outside the series.

    On the plus side, if ROM never left the statis cube in #42, the Massacre of Clairton never happened, which ain't all bad. I still find Brock's death shocking.

  13. i must say gentlemen, despite being the guy who's running this blog i'm somewhat overwhelmed by the nuances of this discussion you two are having.cut ROM some slack on wanting to live a happy life at some point. after 200 more then 200 years of no sex we'll give ROM a pass. but i do agree with how shocking Brock's death was. as a kid you don't think about stuff like the family the character leaves behind. even though it's all just fiction you still think what is his family going to do now with Brock dead? hey Prime Director, i'd like to know how you discovered this blog?

  14. David H,

    I type "Rom Spaceknight" into a search engine every once in a while and just follow the links. I check for anything in the news first, then go through the web looking for new links I haven't seen before.

    I have to say, even though I haven't commented on many posts yet, I was convinced that this blog warranted further attention when you referenced the Most High One a while back. I felt we were a bit sympatico after that.

    I believe that the key to renewing interest in the series is to explore the unresolved plot lines. I advocate this approach because it is organic and has a better chance of being consistent with Mantlo's vision.

    When someone finally comes up with the right way to reintroduce the character, I believe that all the hardcore ROM fans will have an epiphany and say "Yeah! That totally makes sense! Why didn't I think of that?"

    We're clearly not there yet, but I believe that Zipdot is definitely on the right track. His approach is organic and fairly plausible.

    But I still hate #42 :(