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An Ode to a Licensed Character, Part 6 of 8 – Rom #73

June 17, 2010

We’re getting towards the end of this look at the final arc of Rom, which was ably brought to us by Bill Mantlo and Steve Ditko.  This issue is a bit of a letdown after Rom’s run-in with the Shi’ar Empire in the last installment, as our titular hero only shows up at the very end.  That might dampen some of the interest, but we’ll roll with it anyway.

A couple of issues ago Brandy Clark, Rom’s human paramour, bumped into the Beyonder and was transported to the Spaceknight homeworld, Galador.  She finds out that, instead of the peaceful advanced paradise that Rom had described to her, it’s been ravaged by war:

It turns out that a second wave of Spaceknights was created, stronger than Rom’s generation, in case Galador was menaced by another threat while the originals were off battling the Dire Wraiths.  These new protectors eventually turned on their flesh and blood creators and killed most of them, leveling much of the planet in the process.

Brandy manages to down one of these Spaceknights using a Horn of Heaven that she finds (these devices were used by the Angel Elite, Galador’s winged and genetically modified protectors — the rent-a-cops to the Spaceknight constabulary, if you will) and a small band of humans finishes the villain off.  They take Brandy back to their base, where Brandy comes up with a scheme of sneaking into the building where every Spaceknight has his or her humanity stored and threatening to destroy it: 

That will force these new Spaceknights to come to terms, though apparently the Galadorian resistance hadn’t thought of this before.  They could really have used a John Connor or two in their ranks, it seems.

So they sneak in, but the evil Spaceknights find them.  There’s a standoff, but then Rom and his companions materialize.  He’s horrified to see what’s taking place — Spaceknights killing those they’re sworn to protect (they kill the last living Galadorians right in front of him).  Then the bad guys say “To hell with it!” and destroy the vessels containing the humanity of every single Spaceknight:

Great plan, Brandy.

The issue ends with the baddies giving Rom the ol’ “Join us or die!” ultimatum.

What will Rom do?  Will he cave in or will he kick mechanized ass?  Stay tuned for next time!

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