Friday, April 13, 2012

ROM and his international appeal

Well folks, Frank from West Virginia does it again! He recently sent me a treasure trove of ROM clip art from foreign sources. As you all know ROM was republished in various formats in several other countries like The U.K., France, Brazil, Spain and even Turkey. In The U.K., ROM appeared in a Marvel compilation magazine that featured a hand full of characters/titles known as Forces in Combat. The covers usually were a collage of Marvel characters but the example here I'm featuring happens to be an exception. That's cool how this Michael Golden cover art seems to pop up all the time isn't it? But to my surprise ROM did have his own book in the U.K. at least as a one shot. A summer special to be more precise, which is kinda funny since the U.K. only sorta gets a summer every year. But I digress, let's move on here . . .

From looking at the table of contents page (magnify) and at the clip art below it's pretty obvious what's on page 4 and 24. But as for page 30 that happens to be the back story from ROM #25 in which ROM encounters a Dire Wraith commander who genuinely embraces humanity and is subsequently spared a one way ticket to Limbo. Again ROM demonstrates how despite being a bad ass interstellar warrior for over 200 years his moral compass is still intact as he exercises judgement and wisdom the likes we wouldn't see until Optimus Prime hit the comic book scene. Of course the only other Wraith we've known to ever become "human" was Jacob Marks, who was Hybrid's father. Unfortunately that story however did not have a happy ending.

In France, Strange magazine did something similar with ROM issues. As you can see the covers varied from layouts that were meant to mimic the originals to ones that had some minor changes and those that were based on the interior art. These covers kinda remind me of the Spanish ROM reprints Lopes Espi covers but I think I liked the Espi versions better.


  1. The coloring on STRANGE is very attractive. I wonder how many of his original issues were reprinted that way, from country to country? One day I'd love to find some of these. I'm missing the next-to-last year of the title and some of the first year, plus his trip in #19 to Limbo, so what a cool way to read them this would be.

    1. you might be able to find some of those foreign issues on ebay i believe.

    2. Some interesting things about ROM International:

      Turkish reprints look just like "Essential" volumes...which some Americans would love to see made here...big thick books containing a bunch of black & white issues, all in Turkish.

      The Spanish reprints were oversized thick-paper color magazines, a very snazzy presentation of ROM stories, though you’d have to be able to read Spanish to understand them. I have a "ROM Caballero Del Espacio" (the one Dave posted the cover with original art of Terminator & Starshine attacking ROM) that has #19 in Limbo, #20, and two of the Saga of the Spaceknights episodes...neat just to see it larger than the originals.

      U.K. got some regular issues sent there with pence prices printed on the cover, plus he was reprinted like Dave said...the Forces in Combat serialization is tough though, only short snippets per issue, not like his one big Summer Special. But at least they are in English!

      I’m not sure that any countries had the entirety of ROM’s adventures distributed to them, it seems it was hit & miss everywhere else, so you’d be better off getting what you need from good ol’ U.S. Volume 1. But there are indeed two ROM Summer Specials on eBay right now...

  2. Oh wow you did get some very interesting takes On our Spaceknight awesome finds David!!

  3. Hi, Frank from West Virginia here.

    Did everyone realize that the poster pictured kinda small up there is a 30-year-old PUBLISHED-BY-MARVEL piece of ROM art that as far as I know was never seen in the United States? Maybe it was just new to me, but that was the "wow" factor right there, I thought! It’s signed by 'Leigh', any British fans out there know more about him/her? Or can help us know if there were any other exclusive ROM goodies included in your U.K. books?

  4. I have three scans of more french covers of Strange featuring Rom.
    I can send them tp you if you want.