Sunday, September 30, 2012

More of Rick Jones's Rom memorabilia

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I recently found a copy of Incredible Hulk #381 (1991) in a $1 bin. I'm sure most of you have this issue or at least know about the Rom reference in it. But just in case you happen to be one of the few people who may not have seen it yet here it is.

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Now we all love Rom appearances and cameos but Gary Martin Jr. "a Rom curator" also really loves those Rom related footnotes scattered through out the Marvel Universe. Here's one I'm betting you don't have yet. It's comes from Fantastic Four #281.

The Parker Bros. doll turned up earlier this month on Youtube. It was featured on a collectables show about retro toys. Not much here most of you don't know about already but some of you might still like it anyways.!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marvel Universe Handbook entries

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As it turns out I still have my copies of issues #4 (1985) and #10 (1986) the deluxe editions of the Official Marvel Universe Hand Books. Issue #10 contained on the back inside cover an appendix page of other dimensions. It's cool how both Limbo and the Microverse appear almost side by side in the columned entries. Also worth mentioning these issues contained entries for Quasimodo "the living computer" and Ego "the living planet". Both entries included Rom and the Dire Wraith in their bios (about a paragraph for each bio).
Forge's first appearance in the Marvel Universe was in X-Men 186 which was part of a 4 issue X-Men story arc that very directly tied into the Rom series. As you all know around the same time Forge also was a regular ally of Rom for several issues. So needless to say Forge's history had numerous mentions of Rom and the Dire Wraiths as well as a schematic diagram of his hand held version of the neo-neutrilazer.
I'm sure there's other characters in the Marvel Universe who made appearances in Rom spaceknight which also resulted in references to Rom in Marvel Universe Hand Books issues I don't happen to have. Nova, Rick Jones and The Thinker would be a good examples and in the case of the Gremlin his entry actually uses clip art from Rom #44. If you know of any others please don't keep it to yourself. If you were about to mention The Torpedo I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that's a no brainer.

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I think this would be a good time to showcase some Marvel Universe Handbook related fan art. Straight from The Microverse this re-paneling of Captain Universe is by John Douglas. The original was done by Steve Dikto who's work on Rom I hated which I've stated repeatedly like a broken record for years now. But in this case I have to admit it's actually not bad. However, Douglas manages to improve on the original while at the same time rendering Captain Universe in a "Diktoish" style. Captain Universe first appeared in Micronauts #8 and was created by Bill Mantlo and one of my all time favorite artists Michael Golden.

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Now these are not some comics I found in any discount bins recently. I've read these already and I want to recommend them to you all as some of Bill Mantlo's finest work. Incredible Hulk 286 is actually based on an the original Outer Limits episode "Soldier" which is about a soldier from an apocalyptic future that ends up in the present through a scientific quirk in space and time. Marvel Premiere 28 features 4 of some of Marvel's favorite scientific and super natural freaks who end up being more of a threat to each other then by some mutual enemy. Plus, the issue is great alone just for the panel where Ghost Rider gets pissed and calls Morbius a "half baked Dracula".

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spectacular Spiderman 72 with Rom doll guest appearance

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I want to thank Gary Martin Jr. for supplying me with clip art from Peter Parker Spectacular Spiderman 72. What's going on here is that there's a toy shop that's being robbed by some over grown Dr. Octopus wannabe named Olie Osnick. I totally dig how you can see some G.I.Joe packages as well as the Rom doll. This Spiderman issue was written by Bill Mantlo so that pretty much explains the Rom doll but who knows about the G.I.Joe stuff. Plus there's other panels that included other sci-fi/comic genres such as one where a tie-fighter can be clearly scene. I'm sure this was a pretty fun issue to work on since any number of the production staff probably had a chance to work in a reference of their favorite toy line. The Spiderman photo you see there was just some random cool thing I found recently. Notice anything about it?

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More Rom likeness appearances were seen at Rick Jone's apartment in the form of a bust sculpture. The clip art presented here courtesy of Gary Martin Jr. again comes from Captain Marvel #1 Volume 3 (2000). Issues 4 and 6 offer views of the statue as well but their not as good as the views seen in the first issue.
Also, it should be noted that Incredible Hulk #467 features a full page of an older Rick Jones in his home in which in the back ground on a shelf a portion of Rom's "helmet" can be seen. It's one of those things where it's kinda cool that's it's there but it's a pretty obscure Rom likeness cameo compared to the other stuff out there that I've featured on this blog.

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Just this past weekend I made some more great discount back issue finds from Bill Mantlo's past career with Marvel. In San Francisco I found issues 1-3 of Sword of the Swashbucklers in oh so rare 3 for $1 boxes. Check out this portion of some fan mail in the letter column of issue 3. Now this dude was one hard core Bill Mantlo back when that name hardly meant anything to me.
And for just a bit over a buck each I also found The Human Fly 8 and 9 guest starring El Tigre Blanco! White Tiger just sounds so cool in Espanol doesn't it? The first Puerto Rican super hero (but born in NYC) White Tiger was created by Bill Mantlo and George Perez.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My posting of random cool Rom related stuff

If you do an image search on Google using the key words "Rom spaceknight romney" you'll see that some Rom related fan art and political humor for the 2012 U.S. presidential race has surfaced in recent weeks. Most of it has mostly to do with some fun word play and other such bipartisan kinda humor. I'm not looking to start a political debate here with this it's all about Rom.

 I found this cool photo image of the Helder Rom statue with issue number one in the background on some sort of chat site that apparently had a bunch of French speaking Rom fans. I also like how this photo it gives you a better and more detailed look at the base the statue is mounted on.

This photo image also happened to be on that French speaking chat site. Seeing all this almost makes me want to learn how to speak French . . .almost.

Captain America #114  (1986)
 And as a follow up to the Easter eggs found in Captain America 311 I want to thank Rom curator Gary Martin Jr. for giving me a heads up on this other Easter egg panel from issue 314.

 How cool is this? Now that's what I call some serious homage to the greatest of the spaceknights! But this isn't the first Rom tattoo that we know of no sir! Check this out:

Next you'll all get to find out what sort of extraordinary lengths I went to in order to show you all a ROM cameo in Spiderman I know you've never seen or probably even heard of.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Finding ROM Easter Eggs as Steve Rogers finds work at Marvel Comics

Well it seems that Captain America 311 turned out to have even more in store for us then just the flash back cameo of Rom#14. After I wrote and published that posting I gave the issue a thorough reading and it turned out to be an over all good issue. Steve Rogers during an interview at Marvel Comics is offered a job penciling Captain America. Ok the irony here is a bit heavy handed but I still love it. Plus I found me some Rom Easter Eggs! 
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They shouldn't be too hard to spot so I'll leave it up to you good people to find em : ) Truly a dollar well spent. By the way I never knew Steve Rogers could draw!?

And here's another Easter Egg of sorts. The Avengers movie DVD and Blue Ray contains a documentary in the special features called Marvel Studios Building a Cinematic Universe. At one point it features a moving montage of Avengers images and clip art in which from 8:08 to 8:12 we see the cover of Avengers #221 which as most of you know featured Rom on the cover. I hardly think there's a Rom fan out there who doesn't have or at least has seen this cover but just in case you can get a better look at it here:

Next posting, Rom gets involved in the 2012 presidential race, more Easter eggs, even some Rom body art that you've never seen before and even more!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"The Human Fly is me" Bill Mantlo 1977

Here's a couple of other issues that were part of my recent $1 bin loot. I actually used to have the Human Fly #1 back when I was around 12 or 13 as it was part of the numerous late 70s comic titles that were easily available in what used to be the 3 for $1 boxes found at comic shops. At the time I had no real idea who Bill Mantlo was nor did I know he had anything to do with this character. But more importantly I was too young to understand what the Human Fly was really about which I certainly do now that I've had a chance to thoroughly read it from cover to cover.
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The Human Fly himself was guy who lost his family and badly injured in terrible car accident and had to have 60% of his bones replaced by metal. In the flash back sequences of the his origins during his rehabilitation and of how he recruited his team they show him with his face in bandages the whole time implying that he was disfigured some how. His team members consist of a commercial airplane co-pilot who happens to be a black woman (pretty forward thinking for 1977) by the the name of Blaze Kendall who is suffering from some serious confidence issues due to an emergency situation she had to take over while in the air. The other is former army engineer Ted Locke who lost his hands in Vietnam. So ultimately The Human Fly is not about being a super hero per se, it's about over coming disabilities of the mind, body and spirit and in doing so making a difference to others in the world.
Some pretty inspirational stuff a real tribute to not just what kind of writer Bill Mantlo was but also about what kind of person he is. That's why it was something of a shock to me when I came across this editorial page that included this opening sentence.

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It kinda creeps me out how prophetic this ended up being considering what's going on today which I don't need to get into. I'm really glad thanks to the benefit auctions and in general to the fans who've shown over the years how much Bill is missed that something has been given back to him for all he's done for us. More clip art from the issue can been found here:

Also written by Bill Mantlo, Spectacular Spider Man #81 featured his own creations Cloak & Dagger. In this issue we see a convergence of the vigilante duo, Spiderman and the Punisher in the mean streets of New York's drug wars. With Cloak & Dagger we again see the theme of social issues like street crime, drugs and the question of ethics in crime and punishment. You can see clip art from the issue here:

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And on a side note this isn't from a one $1 bin but I recently learned that The Last Starfighter movie comic adaptation was written by Bill Mantlo. The three issue mini-series was also in the form of a Marvel comic magazine which I used to have. It's turning out that there's more and more stuff I'm discovering was written by Mantlo that I used to have. As to the Last Star Fighter (1984) this was a good adaptation on what was a pretty good movie that still holds up fairly well today. And it was something of a first of it's kind with having been only the second movie to extensively use computer generated special effect. The first of course was TRON (1982) I say both movies when they debuted at the theaters.

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 Also the Swords of the Swashbucklers first appeared in Marvel Graphic Novel #14. Epic Comics, a division of Marvel Comics, began publishing it as an ongoing title in 1985. Created by Bill Mantlo and Jackson Guice, it could perhaps best be described as Treasure Island meets Star Wars.
Swords of the Swashbucklers is set in an alternate dimension to Earth in which the inhabitants resemble Earth’s pirates of old. A powerful, evil race of aliens known as the Colonizers controls the dimension while rebel “Swashbucklers” rob and pillage their oppressors so that they might survive. In one battle, The Admiral of the Colonizers’ armada, J’Rel discovers Earth and kidnaps two of the Swashbuckler’s leader’s descendants. The couple’s daughter, Domino, finds the Swashbucklers and agrees to use her unique powers to fight the Colonizers if the Swashbucklers help her rescue her parents. The series chronicles the war between the two races. A more comprehensive synopsis can be read here:

Coming up next we go Easter egg hunting.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Arrival by John Romita Jr. and a little known Rom cameo in Captain America

Lee Sietz has had something about this on his website Rom Spaceknight Revisited for some time now but I'm sure there's at least some Rom fans out there who don't know about this. So I'm sharing this cool find I made at Comic Art Fans. John Romita Jr. and Marie Severin developed the art work above as a sales pitch by Marvel to Parker Brothers back in the day. At a glance it may look like what ended up being page1 of Rom's first issue but there are some differences as you will see after a closer look. They're both pretty sweet.

Oh boy did I ever make a good $1 bin find recently. Also thanks to Rom Spaceknight Revisited I had learned about this flash back cameo Rom made in Captain America #311. I was able to find the cover art but I couldn't for the life of me find the particular clip art anywhere on the net. Then woe and behold I lucked out one day at one of my local comic shops. In the issue Captain America stumbles across The Mad Thinker's awesome android in a barn and they get into a rumble as the cover suggests.

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I gotta tell ya folks. This was one of five back issues I picked up yesterday and I also took the time to browse at some new stuff on the shelves. I've just felt so detached from new comics in recent months. I'm happy to check out some of it online in reviews and what not but when it comes to doling out my money nothing makes me happier then to spend it on stuff like this. I guess I'm just kinda old fashioned that way.

Next up, Bill Mantlo and what his work said about what kind of human being he was.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rom corner art variants, new fan art & appearance with Shogun Warriors on Sy-Fy channel

Most of you will recognize the corner art at the top left as being some what iconic image of the 80s Marvel and a regular for the Rom spaceknight series. The star field back ground's color scheme usually changed from issue to issue. At issue 65 the corner art changed to having a flat color fill back ground as seen in the example right next to the original. Although here too the color scheme would change from issue to issue.
But some Rom issues did deviate from this corner design regiment. Rom issue 49, 63 and 66 actually had their corner design with a back ground fill that was that of the actual cover art scene:  Aside from that there were two other unique ones. Rom # 50 featured corner art that was reflective of a tongue n cheek back story about Rom and Starshine as a stereo typical American couple from the suburbs and Rom Annual #3 featured simply a head shot. To the best of my knowledge the only two Marvel titles outside of the series to ever feature Rom in the corner art was Marvel Two in One #99 and Marvel Age #23. To see fan made ones:

And here we have some fan art from a fellow by the name of Kimo Yancy who has a blog full of sketch art. The top piece with presumably Brandy Clark evidently was his first posting ever. At the bottom it appears as if we have a reinterpretation of the opening scene from Rom #1 The Arrival. Good job on these Kimo if you're reading this.

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Well it appears as if there may be something that makes the SyFy channel worth watching again cause God knows I haven't had any reason to for the last 15 years or so. Special thanks to Gary Martin Jr. for giving me a heads up on this. Not too many chicks where I live who like sci-fi & comics look much like the host on this show

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Did you know Shogun Warriors #13 was one of my very first comics ever even before I ever had any Rom issues? Just like with The Micronauts it was a toy line I really was into back in the day. Like the guy featured in that Collector's Intervention episode I was really into all sorts of robots too at the tail end of the 70s and through out the 80s.
It started with Shogun Warriors and The Micronauts but later I would find myself really into The Transformers, Voltron and Robotech as well. I actually used to have the Voltron robot on the left hand side of the bottom shelf. The robot just above him was one that a friend of my had it was kinda cool it separates into 3 different vehicles.
Me at about 9 years old, left click to enlarge

In just a few days we'll look at some promotional Rom art work that was never published.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alpha Flight 66 re-covered, Rom deconstructed and even more fan art!

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I thought it might be cool to make this side by side comparison of the original Alpha Flight #66 and the Bill Mantlo fan made one.

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No this isn't a new Marvel Zombies concept although that would be kinda cool. I found this on a site that features various androids and cyborgs in different stages of damage or destruction. Unfortunately I don't know who this artist is and I can't tell you any more about this so if you want to learn more you outta take a look here:

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This acrylic painting by Rob Waters was originally featured on Lee Seitz's blog earlier this year. But although this was virtually unknown Rom fan art at the time I was the only one who bothered to leave a comment under that posting. This is some nice art work don't tell me I was the only one who liked it? So I'm reposting it here to give it some much more deserved exposure.

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 From Jeffrey Lewis
"The first comic book that Jeffrey fell in love with was Rom # 7, back in 1979... As Jeff credits Rom with initially inspiring his love of comic books and of drawing, Jeff instituted a personal tradition in 1994 that every sketchbook he keeps must begin with a drawing of him and Rom together." To see the rest of his eighteen sketches:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Heavy Metal

Lee Seitz blogged about this illustration by Steve Fastner and
Rich Larson back in May this year you can see the original posting here:  The first time I laid eyes on it I immediately thought about all those cool Heavy Metal magazine covers that always managed to mix amazing fantasy and sci-fi renderings with exotic women complete with curvy bodies and minimal clothing.

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I wasn't a regular collector of  Heavy Metal magazine but I did have a few issues. Here are a couple of my favorite covers from the issues I had. The Brothers Hildebrandt which I just featured a couple of postings ago did the cover art on the left and on the right is by Simon Bisely.

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Just before I put together that Rom Heavy Metal mock up I found this sketch of the finished illustration on Comic Art Fans. Although I like the colored version I also happen to like this black n white quite a bit too. I would have loved to have seen it inked just before they applied color too it. I think this could have really made for an excellent black n white illustration. Be sure to magnify it there's some nice details not to be missed.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rom blog for fans who aren't andrew little dicks

This is the first time I've ever done a posting like this because it's never been necessary before. This little troll here who I'll call andrew little dick apparently has been having a temper tantrum ever since I banished him from the comments section of my blogs. It all started with him going over the the Suicide Squad blog and leaving some comments there as someone who has no idea about anything or any character that's being showcased there. Alright no big deal but when I suggested perhaps he was out of his element on that blog as opposed to this one he had a fucken melt down and called me a "nazi moderator".
Now one could make the case that I was perhaps a bit obtuse with my comment to him on the other blog. Ok fine so all one has to say is hey dude that was a little out of line. For which I probably would have just said yeah sorry about that I'm just more accustomed to commentators here being familiar with the subject matter given my blogs are pretty much character and team centric. But in the case of this stupid mel gibson like asshole instead of leaving it alone he then had to come back to this blog and start up with some more not so thinly veiled anti-Semitic comments using the Sabra & Red Skull characters which I also banished.

I've had this blog for over two years now and this schmuck is the first official Rom fan who's been here and is a dick. Now you've got something to brag to your friends about for the next 6 months of your failed and useless life you little cry baby.

P.S. andrew, Sabra would hand the Red Skull's ass to him just like Magneto did. Just like I handed yours to you here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Unknown fan art and, "Got a little Captain in ya?"

Anybody know who did this black n white Rom drawing? I think it's pretty good although this version or Rom's armor makes him look a bit like he's on steroids. Ironic that the neutralizer which is Rom's primary weapon is a bit on the smallish size in contrast to his armor's beefed up look. You all get where I'm going with this and the steroid analogy right?

Rom by Santi Cass, Captain Universe by the Brothers Hildebrandt
I was having one of those what if moments in regards to Rom and Captain Universe. I dunno what would have been cooler. If Rom were himself to become Captain Universe or if a close friend of Rom's were to become the Captain in order to help Rom out with some raw cosmic power. Outside of Brandy Clark Steve Jackson (her fiance) was Rom's first friend and ally on Earth.
Rom Spaceknight #4  (1980)
He was Rom's unofficial side kick pretty much exactly as Rick Jones was later in the series after Steve was murdered by the Dire Wraiths during the massacre of Clariton in issue 49. That was definitely one of those "holy shit!" deaths in the series. So at any point in the series it would have been pretty cool if either Steve or Rick had inherited Captain Power even if it was just in a single issue. It would have also kinda unofficially bridged the Rom title to The Micronauts given that the licensing restrictions kept these two Bill Mantlo creations from crossing over into their respective titles.

Modeled by  Simonia Amanda

You don't need to be a Cloak & Dagger fan to appreciate this but if you are all the better. The same artist (Daswook) who did Dagger also did this Sabra Heromorph as well as the Marionette one from The Micronuats I featured a couple of weeks ago. But there's so much more where these came from. Go check out his Deviant Art gallery I'm sure you'll find more Heromorph images of your favorite super heroines and villains from both DC, Marvel and some independents