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Rom is a member of the Galadorian race. He was the first to volunteer to sacrifice his humanity to become a Spaceknight to defend Galador from an impending invasion by the Dire Wraiths. Rom possessed the necessary genetic markers that allowed bonding to the Plandanium armor and became the first and Greatest of the Spaceknights.

The Galadorians were a peaceful race and were welcomed throughout the galaxy for their trade and gifts of knowledge. On one mission, the Galadorian Armada entered the Dark Nebula on a trade mission. They were attacked and slaughtered by the Dire Wraiths whose home planet Wraithworld was at the center of the Dark Nebula. The Wraiths then proceeded to attempt a conquest of "The Golden Galaxy". With their fleet virtually annihilated, the home planet Galador was virtually defenseless. A call was made for the citizens to sacrifice their humanity to save their home. Rom was the first to volunteer and 1000 others joined him, sacrificing their humanity to fight the Wraiths. When the Wraith fleet arrived, an epic battle ensued in orbit above Galador as the Dire Wraith fleet battled the severely outnumbered Spaceknights. Through determination and the desperation of fighting for their homes and loved ones, the Spaceknights wreaked havoc among the Wraith fleet. Their assault faltering and in desperation the Wraiths summoned their most feared weapon, a living creature spawned from the Black Sun of the Dark Nebula known as a "Deathwing". The Queen Deathwing almost turned the tide in the Wraiths favor before Rom slew it. The Wraiths then fled before the wrath of the Spaceknights.

Wraith-kind was pursued all the way back to their homeworld where Rom himself dared alone to face the horrors of Wraithworld. As a last gasp defense, the Wraiths cast a spell that caused Rom to see wraiths everywhere allowing them time to escape and disperse throughout the universe. His fellow Spaceknights of the Spaceknight Squadron, Breaker; Pulsar; Scanner; Seeker; Trapper; & The Unseen) were able to break the spell Rom was under and rescue him from the now deserted Wraithworld. Rom then decided that the Dire Wraiths needed to be hunted down rather than be given time to regroup or harm other worlds.[2]

Rom would work in concert with fellow Spaceknights Starshine and Terminator on a number of missions. On one such mission, Terminator in a fit of bloodlust slew the ruler of the Archons. Rom & Starshine bore witness at Terminator's trial on Galador where he was sentenced to be slain by Galador's Living Flame.

Operating alone, his chase of Wraith-kind led Rom to Earth where at first his mission was mistaken as a marauding menace randomly killing humans. He initially came into contact with the Earth woman Brandy Clark who was skeptical at first but believed Rom after witnessing events proving the Wraith's existence in her hometown of Clairton, West Virginia where the Wraiths had established a secret stronghold. Later, Brandy's boyfriend Steve Jackson also became an ally. After capturing Steve Jackson, a Wraith assumed his form and was about to marry Brandy when Rom, who had developed feelings for her burst in to stop the proceedings. Shortly thereafter, the real Steve Jackson entered the church and shot the Wraith impostor who turned to ash in front of the townspeople proving to all that the Wraiths were indeed real and had infested the town. From that point on the populace of Clairton became Rom's staunchest allies.[3]

Rom would encounter a number of Earth's superpowered beings (often with initial hostilities in mistaken circumstances) including the X-men, Jack of Hearts, Fantastic Four, Power Man & Iron Fist and The Torpedo. After his initial encounter with the X-men and Hybrid; Rom was trapped in Limbo when Sprite turned his own Neutralizer on him while he restrained Hybrid from getting her. There he encountered his best friend and fellow Spaceknight Karas (Firefall). Karas was able to return Rom to Earth but as he warned him about Galador the portal closed leaving Rom anxious about his homeworld's fate. Rom then sought to return to his homeworld of Galador and he 'deputized' Brock Jones (The Torpedo) to watch over the town of Clairton in his absence. He was able to borrow a Skrull saucer from the Fantastic Four to aid him in his journey while his stardrive rocket pods were under auto-repair. The saucer exited hyperspace, but Galador was nowhere to be found. Shortly thereafter the Saucer was intercepted by Nova and the New Champions of Xandar. After a brief skirmish, they returned to Xandar just prior to a Skrull invasion. Rom and the New Champions thwarted the invasion and afterwards the Living Computers of Xandar were able to ascertain the location of Galador and transport Rom there.[4]

Rom materialized on Galador to find the populace bowing at his presence. Perplexed, he proceeded to the Halls of Science to find their once plain doors emblazoned with his heroic exploits. He was then struck down by an exact mirror image of himself. He awakened to find himself contained in stasis tubes and being taunted by the evil Mentus. Also held captive was Galador's Prime Director who encouraged Rom and told him of his accidental creation of the renegade Spaceknight Mentus in his attempt to create Armor capable of being animated by the force of his will but that only his evil half had entered in. Mentus then faked the Prime Director's death and installed a puppet in Terminator that he had taken control of and reshaped his armor into a doppelganger of Rom including using the half of Rom's stored humanity from the Cryo-Vaults. Mentus had then begun to move Galador to the Dark Nebula to deliver it to the Dire Wraiths and seek to rule them as well. Rom was able to free himself and the Prime Director and they proceeded to a vault where other Spaceknights who had returned earlier had been frozen in suspended animation. Rom used his Neutralizer to free them and the assembled Spaceknights battled Terminator and Dire Wraiths meeting with Mentus. In the battle, Mentus fled but ran into the Prime Director who was able to reabsorb him. However, the strain was too much and both physically died but the reunited will was able to transcend into an energy form. As he felt himself drawn to a higher consciousness, the Prime Director warned Rom and the Spaceknights of the approach of Galactus.[5]

Terrax the Tamer preceded Galactus to the surface of Galador. He began to strike at the planet and was engaged by the Spaceknights who were able to subdue him. As Terminator was struck dead by Galactus, Rom entered his ship Tau II and was able to get the world eater's attention. Rom bargained with Galactus to spare Galador by promising to lead him to a world he could consume. Galactus commanded Terrax to raise a cairn for the fallen Terminator and even though grieved by the loss of his humanity with Terminator's death, Rom and the Spaceknights assembled aboard the giant starship with Rom leading the way to the Dark Nebula. They soon descended to the surface of Wraithworld which resisted Galactus and melted his energy converter before it could begin its destruction of the planet. As Rom and the Spaceknights watched, Galactus then attempted to feed directly upon the planet but was fed upon himself instead. In anger Galactus enlarged himself and turned his attention on the Black Sun itself. The Spaceknights retreated to the safety of the starship where the quaking Terrax pondered if the unthinkable had happened and his master had been destroyed. His question was soon answered when a wounded and weary Galactus reappeared and proclaimed he had finally encountered a world and an entire star system that he did not have the stomach to consume. The fearful Spaceknights awaited his next action with trepidation fearing for their homeworld. To their amazement, the world eater threw back his head and laughed at being outmaneuvered by Rom. Galactus kept his end of the bargain and relocated the Galadorian star system away from its collision course with the Dark Nebula to a new location unknown to the Spaceknights. He then left Rom and his companions on an asteroid.[6]

Starshine (Landra) used her Living Light powers to disperse the Spaceknights back on their quest and followed Rom to Earth because she was infatuated with him. Upon their return they were soon attacked by Dire Wraiths posing as the townspeople and Landra sacrificed herself by jumping in front of Wraith weapons to save Rom. She was then buried in the Clairton cemetery. Rom continued to fight the Wraiths on Earth and encounters more superbeings. While searching for the enemy in Russia, he encountered Quasimodo who offers Rom the chance to become human again through cloning. Rom accepted and awakened in human form and left the lab to enjoy the outside world until he happened upon the humans that had directed him to Quasimodo and found them quickly deteriorating and dying. Realizing his error he tried to return and found Starshine under the direction of the Wraith Warlock Doctor Dredd attacking his armor which Quasimodo had inhabited. Having seemingly slain her beloved Rom, Brandy Clark was released from the Wraith spell and found the quickly deteriorating Rom strangling the Warlock to death. Frantic, Starshine carried the clone and the armor back to the lab where they encountered the Gremlin who was able to restore Rom's human remains from the stasis cube back into his Spaceknight armor.[7]

The Dire Wraiths soon after escalated the war after the female Wraiths slayed their male Science Wraith counterparts forever renouncing Science in favor of Sorcery.[8] Rom and Brandy Clark (Starshine) continued warring with the assistance of the Wraith-Hunter Rangers of the American military assigned to hunt down the enemy. In another battle with Hybrid, Brandy was stripped of the Starshine armor and returned to human form. All out war ensued and the mutant Forge was enlisted to provide replicas of Rom's Neutralizer for use against the Wraiths. Fearing that mutant haters like Agent Gyrich would use the weapons on mutantkind, Forge refused at first. But in a battle with Wraiths at his headquarters thwarted with the help of Rom, Forge devised a plan. The Dire Wraiths had expended almost all their magic to trigger a massive spell known as "Worldmerge" to summon their home Wraithworld to merge with the Earth ensuring their victory. Forge worked with the governments of Earth to construct a Neo-neutralizer in space with the expressed purpose of eliminating every single Wraith on Earth. As the war raged to its fullest and Wraithworld approached causing violent cataclysms across the planet, Rom was caught in a Wraith trap and held immobilized unable to do anything but watch his impending defeat and Earth's destruction. All the Dire Wraiths and their minions assembled at that location to mock the Spaceknight when all of Earth's Heroes summoned by Rick Jones and with the Wraith-Hunter Rangers came to Rom's rescue. Rom was freed from the enchantment and joined Forge in space at the Neo-neutralizer. After an attempt by Gyrich to seize the weapon, Rom and Forge trained the Neo-neutralizer away from Earth and upon Wraithworld where its dark magic was negated and finally banished to Limbo.[9] Returning to Earth, the defeated Wraiths were rounded up and Rom banished every last Wraith on Earth to Limbo. With Earth cleansed, Rom announced his intention to return to Galador to the heartbreak of Brandy Clark.[10] After tearful farewells, Rom headed back to the stars.

In his travels home Rom encountered his fellow Spaceknights Seeker and Scanner from the Spaceknight Squadron and they began to once again seek their lost homeworld. They come across a world of Wraiths who had lost their powers with the banishing of Wraithworld and were working as thralls to an 'Unseen God' who was found to be Unam the Unseen. After being shamed for his actions, Unam was forgiven by Rom and they all continued on their journey. They soon come to another world and joined Trapper in the defense of the native population against the Wraiths being led by the now renegade Breaker. Rom neutralizes Raak and banished him and his Wraith allies to Limbo.[11] After an encounter with the Shi'ar where they discovered the fate of their comrade Pulsar,[12] Rom and his comrades were transported to the Halls of Science on Galador only to find his love Brandy Clark and a number of Galadorians there threatening to destroy all the Spaceknights stored humanity. Stunned, they could only watch as one of the Second Generation Spaceknight lieutenants, Heatwave called Brandy's bluff and destroyed all the Cryo-Vaults. A fierce battle ensued with no quarter being given until at last every single human except Brandy was slain. Rom temporarily incapacitated the renegades allowing the First Generation Spaceknights to escape to the catacombs where Brandy explained what she had learned about Galadors fate from the human resistance. After the episode with Galactus, the undefended Galador had created a second more powerful generation of Spaceknights designed to be more powerful than the first by utilizing less of their humanity. When no threats occurred, these Spaceknights became corrupted by power and turned renegade seeking to eliminate what they perceived as the 'weak' humans. Rom led the Spaceknight Squadron on a mission to attack the renegade citadel of the Dark Tower in hopes of sending a locator signal out for their fellow First Generation Spaceknights to find their way home. Rom confronted the enemy leader Lord Dominor in single combat while his friends attacked the other renegades. Scanner was able to get the signal out just before they were all slain. Dominor demanded Rom give him Brandy so he could start a new race and Rom refused. Rom defeated Dominor eventually and the renegades sought to destroy the planet by forming a 'Ring of Power'. Once the ring was formed, a tremendous explosion destroyed the Dark Tower and the renegades instead. Dominor explained to Rom that the Ring was a failsafe he had installed to ensure his power and once again demands Rom give him Brandy to save Galador because his humanity had been hidden in his throne. Rom pointed to the destroyed throne and in despair Dominor attacks Rom for his Neutralizer incapacitating him and turning it upon himself, commiting suicide. Rom awakened to find that the lost Spaceknights had returned though not in time to save the Spaceknight Squadron. There also was Brandy who had found that Rom's humanity had been stored in a glowing orb by Galactus. Rom reclaimed his human form and the Spaceknights headed back to the stars pledging to protect the couple in rebuilding Galador.[13]

Rom and Brandy started their new life on Galador becoming the progenitors of a new Galadorian race. Their last known visit to Earth was for the marriage of Rick Jones.[14]

Rom, now known as Prime Director Artour, was the leader of Galador and had two sons with Brandy. Rom led a diplomatic mission aboard his starship Excalibur (Codenamed Praxis 6) when the vessel came under attack. Everyone aboard the vessel were rendered unconscious except for the Spaceknight Val who came under attack from a new enemy, a Wraithknight. The ship exploded and Rom was presumed dead though no body was ever found.[1]

Powers

As a Spaceknight, Rom's 'Plandanium' armor gives him superhuman strength, durability, stamina and reflexes, as well as interstellar flight. He does not need to eat, breathe, or sleep in this form. An auto-repair system heals injuries to his cyborg parts.

Strength level

As a Spaceknight ROM can lift roughly 70 Tons. In his normal form he seems to have the strength of a man who engages in intensive regular exercise. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe has consistently stated that Rom can only lift 15 tons but his strength level was always shown to be much greater in the series, having been able to overwhelm Rogue (Anna Marie) (Earth-616), match Colossus in strength, battle Missing Link hand to hand, and engage Gladiator in hand to hand combat.



Equipment

  • Rom's Energy Analyzer: device used by Rom to detect Dire Wraiths. It was able to penetrate their sorcerous shape-shifting ability to reveal them as they were to Rom's video receptors. This device was able to track energy trails and immediately provide Rom with an analysis of any thing or person that he trained it upon.
  • Rom's Translator: This translator is a complex Galadorian computer originally programmed with the linguistics of all languages known to Galadorian scientists. It allows Rom to quickly learn new languages after it collects enough samples of the language used.

Transportation

Rom can travel vast distances in his Spaceknight form.

Weapons

  • Primary:
    • Rom's Neutralizer: The level of power is adjustable: It is most often used to banish Dire Wraiths to Limbo. It can cancel out harmful radiation. The weapon is keyed to ROM so that others cannot use it against him.
  • Secondary:
    • Power Siphoning - Rom's armor was able to absorb energy on contact.
    • Rom's armor stored a "Solar Charge" that could be used as an offensive/defensive weapon.
  • The Rom comic was designed to accompany a line of action figures. The character currently is owned by Hasbro. IDW publishes comic book series set in the Hasbro shared comic universe since 2016 year.
  • Due to rights issues, Rom has only made a few cameos (and only in humanoid form) in recent years.

References

  • OHMU #X, MMM 19XX, MARVEL COMICS GROUP ©

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