Marvel will collect its ‘Rom: Spaceknight’ run for the first time

An omnibus of the first 29 issues will arrive next January.

Now this is interesting — Marvel has announced, in collaboration with Hasbro, plans to collect their early 1980s series Rom: Spaceknight in a series of omnibus volumes.

Rom: The Original Years Omnibus Volume 1, coming next January, will collect Rom #1-29, as well as Power Man and Iron Fist #73. Marvel is also planning to reprint the first issue as a “facsimile edition” in September.

The series originally ran from 1979 through 1986, and was based on the Rom toy that was owned by Parker Brothers at the time. The comic, in fact, had a longer shelf life than the toy. Hasbro bought Parker Brothers in 1991, passing the ownership of Rom to them. IDW produced a few miniseries featuring the character, and he was part of their Hasbro Comic Universe with Transformers, G.I. Joe, Micronauts and other properties owned by the toy company during that time.

One of the great things about Marvel’s Rom comic was that, despite being a licensed character, he was firmly integrated into their universe. He often encountered other heroes like the X-Men, Jack of Hearts, Nova and the Fantastic Four in his own book, and also made his way into Incredible Hulk, Power Man and Iron Fist, Marvel Two-In-One and even the Contest of Champions and Secret Wars II crossover miniseries. Rom not only fought his sworn enemies, the Dire Wraiths (who would play a role in the depowering of punk rock Storm back in the 1980s) but also the Mad Thinker, Space Phantom and even Galactus.

It was a fun series, and those early issues especially feature some great comics by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema — as well as covers by Frank Miller. His cover art for issue #1 will appear on the omnibus and facsimile edition, while a George Perez piece provided by his estate will serve as the direct market exclusive variant for the omnibus:

There will also be variant covers featuring one of Sal Buscema’s early promotional pieces for Rom:

And another Miller cover, this one from Rom #17:

This comes at an interesting time, as IDW lost the licenses to Rom, Transformers, G.I. Joe and Micronauts at the end of 2022, and we have not yet heard where they might end up. (Micronauts, like Rom, was another licensed title that featured some prominent Marvel guests stars and could use some reprinting itself). All four of those titles were once published by Marvel, so, y’know … just sayin’.

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