Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Rom fan art galore! Plus, Bill Mantlo's Paradox

by Manos Lagouvardos
This one comes to us all the way from Greece. Unfortunately these days Greece's economic problems are even a bigger mess then the legal red tape Rom is caught up in.

by Jean Louis Sanglan
Another good piece of Rom fan art done by someone who has excellent figure composition skills when it comes to illustration. Also, I think that may be the the most faithful fan art rendering of Rom's neautrlizer I've ever seen.

 4/12 Update: If you didn't see this before it's because I didn't have this in the posting when I first published it last night. Today by chance I found Bill Mantlo's Paradox in a magazine back issue bin for just $3 so I figured what the Hell I'll check it out.  Hopefully I'll be able to read it in the next day or two and add a brief review of it to this posting so stay tuned if you want to know more about Paradox.

4/13 Update: The setting for Paradox is 200 years in the future in which the entire solar system has been colonized. Earth (referred to as Terra in the story) has genetically engineered a series of new "people" in order to survive as slave labor in the various hostile environments through out the Terran Empire. Paradox is a popular anti-gravity dancer and shape shifting agent of the Interplanetary Security Agency. He is sent from Terra to the moon (which is a large colony now called Luna) in order to investigate the death of the Terran Ambassador to Luna. There he discovers the connection to the ambassador's death to an addictive  hallucinogenic drug called firelite in which the state of euphoria the drug induces becomes more intense as it gets closer to being fatal when it causes the user to spontaneously combust which is called going "ferno".
As Paradox's investigation continues he discovers the connection to the Ambassador's fireflite addiction to a blackmail scheme which was part of planned revolt by Luna's slave population.
It should also be noted that Paradox was apparently a switch hitter as well as a dancer although we only see him being with just women when it came to overt sexual scenes. I liked the premise of the story it was kinda like The America Revolution in space (although in this case Earth was playing the role of England) with some Blade Runner and Total Recall mixed in there. The story read fairly well with themes being touched upon such as drug abuse, racism and human sexuality. I'm going to say that the reason Paradox failed to find an audience is that I don't think readers
of Marvel Magazine Group in 1980 were ready for a leading character that was basically a "James Bond" who was also a ballet dancer that hooked up with guys from time to time. I applaud Mantlo's vision and for what he was trying to say with certain social justice narratives in Paradox but at the end of the day issue #24 of Marvel Preview from Marvel Magazine Group was just a head of it's day. I also don't think it helped win over the predominately male heterosexual readers of Marvel Magazine Group publications to Paradox with what he was wearing through out the issue.


  1. That Sanglan pic is so perfect.

  2. On the Jean-Louis Sanglan: I wondered why, aside from the background & the simply-perfect Neutralizer, it was swiped from the Frisano piece you showed recently, so I found Sanglan's gallery ( ) and realized that his specialty seems to be Reproductions Gouaches; he often does his own take on Frisano (who funnily enough mostly imitated Marvel artists). In a few instances he's shown the original pencils then posted the final painted version, so let's keep an eye out for a color update on this ROM piece, if he does one it's gonna be amazing! Just look what he did with the Silver Surfer in space ( ) and Dr. Doom's silver armor ( ).

  3. That Sanglan is really something. And the Paradox story is kinda weird.

  4. Agreed, that Jean Louis Sanglan artwork is just breathtaking. Someone needs to hire his ass toot-sweet. But let's not forget Manos Lagouvardos's ROM sketch was awesome as well.

    As for Paradox, if Mantlo could've published that today, no doubt that'd be a Vertigo, Image or IDW title for sure.

  5. Definitely some futuristic ideas here. Kind of like Star Trek, imagining a future where the stereotypes and prejudices of today no longer exist. I read the later Paradox story and liked it a lot.
    That lower Rom piece is amazing. It has a very cosmic feel to it and I just love looking at all the details. Definitely a far cry from that stupid blocky toy.

  6. i just woke up from an afternoon nap to find all these comments posted within the last couple of hours only thanks guys for sharing what's on your collective minds about what i posted here.

    Gary, thanks for the links i see what you mean i also really like the way that guys signs his name on his work.

    yeah Bruce, i think the reaction you had to it was similar to most of the readers of Paradox back in 1980.

    yeah you're probably right about that Dale.

    Rick, i sent you a message on FB.

  7. Paradox reminds me quite a bit of Captain Jack from the Torchwood and Dr. Who series. I think you're right, that it was simply too ahead of its time, and if it were published today it would find a foothold. Except for one thing: that costume design. They would still have to change that. I love the premise, and would have bought it whether it was a comic or a novel. It really digs into my sci-fi nerd side. I've always liked things the weirder the better. It would be interesting to see, though, that if certain social prejudices had gone by the wayside, which ones sprung up to take their place.