Monday, August 27, 2012

A tribute to custom made action figures inspired by Bill Mantlo titles

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I was planning on taking some time off from this blog but the previous Bill Mantlo posting just kinda blew up in the comments section so I felt motivated to fast forward to my next posting. So here's something I put together mostly from various images of some of the best custom figures I've seen on the net along with a really nice 3-D rendering of the Endeavor.
I thought this might be a good time to share with you all the very first Rom spaceknight and Micronauts issues I ever owned. I was probably about ten or so when I got these as a result of nagging my parents after the covers had caught my eye where ever it was that I saw them. It wouldn't be for several years later that I would start picking up Rom on a monthly basis or be able to start hunting down back issues for on titles.

And as good fortune would have it I was going through a bunch of $1 bins this past weekend and I came across a pretty sweet find. This is Cloak & Dagger #1 (Vol.2) published in 1985 and written by Mantlo. If you look just below the Cloak & Dagger logo you can see it says "Created by Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan".

This issue was a thoughtfully written story that touched on the problems plaguing the mean streets of New York city such as drug abuse, police corruption and child exploitation. This sort of street level narrative that Bill Mantlo explores with Cloak and Dagger seems to imply he wanted to create some public awareness about these social ills that were very much in the real world as well.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bill Mantlo's guest star appearance in the pages of Alpha Flight

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I just found something really cool. Alpha Flight #66 (Jan.1989) was the final issue of Bill Mantlo’s run on the book. He wrote 37 issues, which was a longer run than the creator of the book, John Byrne. The story is something of a tongue n' cheek farewell story for Bill Mantlo as one of Alpha Flight's characters (Manikin) makes a fuss over Mantlo's script with the issue. Although from what I can see Mantlo was never referred to by name in the story line but it's still pretty obvious it's him. I don't know how well you can see it hanging there in Mantlo's hospital room but somebody used some of the clip art from this issue to make a fictitious Alpha Flight cover. If you'd like a more extended and detailed account of the story with some more of the clip art go here:

In the 80s I had a small collection of Alpha Flight issues I had picked up sporadically over the years from both John Byrne and Bill Mantlo. But issues 33 and 34 which were written by Mantlo were among my favorites. This was the era where Wolverine was really starting to become a rising star in the Marvel Universe and I was pretty eager to pick up anything with him in it. Although Rom never appeared in the pages of Alpha Flight I'm happy to say that Alpha Flight did appear in Rom issues 56, 57 and 58.

I think this is a good stopping point for now I need a break but I'll still be checking the comments sections. That's not as time consuming as putting together these postings.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Darkstar, Marionette & Sabra, making the 80s look even hotter!

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First appearing in Rom issues 45 and 46, Darkstar and the Soviet Super Soldiers would again be called upon to aid Rom along with most of the rest of Earth's heroes against the Dire Wraiths war conclusion in issue 65. In between we also see flash back like cameo appearances in the Rom series. Much more recently in 2010 a new incarnation of Darkstar again did battle with the Dire Wraiths in the 3 issue Winter Guard mini series which in part continued a story arc from Rom 45 and 46.

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Although never having crossed story lines with Rom spaceknight because of those stupid copy right agreements The Micronauts was another good title compliments of Rom creator Bill Mantlo. This Marionette Heromorph image is by artist Daswook.

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Another Marvel character I like that never crossed paths with Rom unfortunately but it should be noted that Sabra's first appearance in Hulk#256 was written and penciled by the same dynamic duo Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema that made Rom spaceknight one of my all time favorite comic book titles.

Because there was no photoshop in the 80s nobody did any of this kinda sexy fan art with the Darkstar, Marionette and Sabra characters. But still, when I came across these photo images it still made me feel pretty nostalgic (among other things) about the greatest decade in human history.
Speaking of nice airbrush jobs in photoshop you all haven't forgotten about this one of Turbo from last year right?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How I miss those 70s and 80s Marvel back issues from my child hood

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This photo reminds me a lot of my child hood and early teens where I would spend hours sometimes with my comic collection back then. As you can see this collection in the photograph has no shortage of Rom back issues. You can see some Micronauts in the top right corner as well as some X-Men and Dr. Strange. I never had She-Hulk #1 but I did have about a half dozen She-Hulk issues at one point along with that Avengers issue which I got in a trade with my buddies.
I don't know about the rest of you guys but that's something my friends and I used to do in the 80s was swap issues. Of course my Rom issues were never open to negotiations but most of the other titles I had were depending on what the other guys had to offer in exchange. Getting to a comic shop in those days was a once in a while thing since I needed my parents to drive me there. So some of my comics were bought at local liquor stores, 7Elevens and then there were the ones I was able to get from swaps. There's an earlier posting of a better photo of this spinner rack just type "spinner racks" in this blog's word search to go to that posting. Man how I miss those days! Photo courtesy of a very cool Marvel 80s blog

Got any fond memories from your early comic book collecting days? If so I'd sure like to hear about them, excelsior : )

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Marvel Comics turns 25 for Rom spaceknight # 84

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A big thanks to Gary Martin Jr. "a Rom curator" for getting inspired from my recent stuff to do some new fan art for this blog. This another one of those What If? sorta things. Gary used some software called GIMP to do this. I'm not familiar with that program and when I hear the word gimp I'm more inclined to think of leather, chains and rednecks as opposed to graphic design. But I digress, here is Gary in his own words:
"As long as we're righting obvious wrongs, consider this What If scenario: ROM wasn't cancelled, and either remained in armor or circumstances required he don it again. Issue #84 would have been cover dated November 1986 and our favorite Galadorian would have participated in Marvel's 25th Anniversary cover month. It always irked me that ROM missed out on that awesome border dressing, so I've rectified it by bringing back prime Sal-on-Sal Buscema, flashy-burst eyes & all, for the cover art (clipped from one of my favorite published pages, ROM #10's opening splash). But while we're at it, let's assume he drew the pages inside, too!"
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Chicago Comic-Con 2012 photos from this past weekend courtesy of one of my favorite commentators and supporters for this blog, Randomnerd (Black Widow). Wish I could have been there too.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Marvel Universe Deluxe Hand Book # 11 with cover correction

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Aside from the the horrid art work on ROM's bio page the other thing that  fu#$%& pissed me off about this issue back in the day was that Rom was absent from both the front and back cover. To go from getting top billing in the first Marvel Universe to being absent on the deluxe version was like adding injury on top of more injury. I mean seriously couldn't they have found at least a small thumbnail space some where between the front and back cover of the issue to allocate to the Greatest of the Spaceknights!? Well at least here I can make that over due correction.

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Like issue 9, issue 15 of the original series also did justice to Rom by having him grace the cover. Aside from that Rom had two full pages allocated to his armor and accessories (although there was a mix up there). But what would have made that issue even cooler is if they had included the Torpedo armor too. But considering that the Torpedo had already died when this issue was published along with his D-list status it comes as no surprise the Torpedo armor was absent. But what if ?

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

The TERMINATOR . . plus, Rom entry in Marvel Universe Deluxe Handbook done right!

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Most of you know how much I didn't like the Steve Ditko art from the original Marvel Universe Deluxe edition hand book. And it was quite disappointing to recently find some fan art that basically just mimicked what Ditko did. So here it is how I think it would have looked had Sal Buscema done the art for the entry.

I just love the irony here considering that Terminator did indeed come back after his supposed execution. The Ahwnold lines just work to well here in regards to clip art of the somewhat over zealous wraith slaughtering spaceknight. The art work below is the only fan art I've ever done of Terminator. I probably should do more after all he was one of the most bad ass looking spaceknights ever created. Oh and look, those Ahwnold lines work pretty well with some ROM clip art too. I hope you all remember Conan the Barbarian?

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By the way, did you know that the Dire Wraiths made a cameo in the Uncanny X-Men earlier this year?

Friday, August 10, 2012

The most subtle ROM reference in a Marvel title ever I think

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Looks like I'm back sooner then I expected. Can you spot the ROM reference here? Also take note that Marv Wolfman and Bill Mantlo wrote this issue. Which leads me to my next feature in this posting compliments of Gary Martin "a Rom curator".

Marvel Fun and Games (1979) left click to enlarge
Marv Wolfman co created The Torpedo with Bob Brown. His first appearance in ROM was in issue 21 (1981) so it would not surprise me at all if Wolfman and Mantlo were aleady collaborating on the concept of having The Torpedo be a regular fixture in the ROM spaceknight series when they worked on FF 216 together the year before. Also present in this name match puzzle is the Jack of Hearts who was created by Bill Mantlo. And in case you didn't see this recent posting elsewhere about the Torpedo's career in the Marvel Universe:

Just thought I'd throw this Marvel Age calendar date in this posting. As you know Bill Mantlo was the regular writer on Alpha Flight (issues 30-41)  for a while aside from the multitude of other Marvel titles during his amazing career .


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Spaceknights over San Francisco

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 I've owned my ROM collection for most of my life. That includes issue 48. But for some reason I only realized earlier this year that part of the issue takes place in San Francisco. Which is weird because I've been living across The Bay from S.F. since I was 9. Over the last 30 years I've been to S.F. countless times for everything from rock concerts to comic-cons and strip clubs. I also used to work in S.F. and one of the hand full of long term relationships I've ever had was with a gal who lived in S.F. near Ocean Beach.  It was so cool to discover this recently it was kinda like reliving reading this issue for the first time but seeing it a bit differently too.
World famous Golden Gate Bridge
On a related note let me take a moment to talk about New Warriors #60 which I just acquired a few months ago because of a significant ROM tie-in: The issue opens up with this awesome splash page of Turbo flying through downtown S.F. To the left of the clip art you see one of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge and to the right you see the TransAmerica building which is the tallest skyscraper and most distinctive feature in the S.F. skyline. But keep in mind the distance between the bridge and downtown SF is much wider then suggested in this clip art but I guess they wanted to get it all in on this scene some how.
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We'll I'm plum outta postings at the moment so I think this will be a good point to take a much needed break. I'll still be responding to comments that's a lot less time consuming then putting together these postings.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Is that the Greatest of the spaceknights at a typewriter?

I want to thank Rick Hansen for finding this photo and giving me a heads up with the following message on Facebook: "This comes from Marvel Magazine Bizarre Adventures No. 30, which came out in 1981. Best I can tell, this is a picture of Dennis O'Neil and it precedes a lengthy story by – guess who – Boisterous Bill" Unfortunately the article which Mantlo co-wrote is not Rom related so this photo  is basically just a novelty.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New found Rom cameo! Plus, Dire Wraiths vs The Brood. The deadliest species!

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I found this panel by chance on a ComicVine clip art collection having to do with Dire Wraiths. I suspect this is from the Marvel Universe X issue that has an appearance of a version of ROM (human) who was stranded in Limbo and still fighting Dire Wraiths with his neutralizer. For a quick recap: One thing I'm sure about is that this clip art is from something Marvel published after the licensing rights expired. They don't use the ROM name here and notice how the details on "Rom" are obscured by the neutralizer's rays to the point where technically that could be any other spaceknight? But that's still a cool panel cause we all know who that is with or with out a copyright. Those are Dire Wraiths but it looks like Rom could be blasting John Carpenter's The Thing to Limbo with his neutralizer.

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 Who could forget this awesome panel from the now classic X-Men 187. What Storm was thinking here got me thinking too. Aside from that I love the way Storm's face is drawn here. Her expression of knee jerk fear and revulsion is perfect.

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Imagine for a moment the Dire Wraiths having invaded Brood infected space instead of the Golden Galaxy. Or perhaps imagine The Brood attempting to invade and infect the Dark Nebula. The Brood and the Dire Wraiths are arguably the most vicious and vile aliens in the Marvel Universe. But which is the most deadliest of the two species!?
Both bring plenty to the battle field when it comes to advanced weapons technology and deadly genetic adaptations. But I'm thinking Wraith sorcery might end up giving the Dire Wraiths the edge in an all out interstellar conflict between these two alien menaces. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Awesome Rom custom action figure recently sold on ebay for $130.00

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For all you ROM fans with a disposable income just look what you missed out on not too long ago. But ROM fan or not, outside of the one percent does anyone actually have a disposable income anymore these days?
In just a couple days you guys can help me identify a newly found Rom cameo flash back appearance. Plus, is there any other alien species in the Marvel Universe as vile and menacing as the Dire Wraith? I can think of at least one other that might qualify and we'll take a look at what a war between the two might look like.