Today marks the day that The Eighties Refugee Camp expands to include more than just club remixes. "Oh, no!", you say. Wait, wait. They'll still be here too I promise. I just feel like there's a whole lot of other things that I could share here. Things from my 80's childhood like good ol' Rom here. I got my Rom toy the Christmas of 1979. Friggin' loved it. The red eyes, the accessories that glowed menacingly, the noises it made. Rom kicked many, many asses in battles with my other toys. Parker Brothers had only been known at the time for it's popular board games like Risk, Clue and Monopoly. Time Magazine featured Rom as part of it's cover the week of December 10, 1979. The interior article called the toy a flop for it's lack of articulation Heh. They never saw the way Rom's Neutralizer would make G.I. Joe scream like that chick from Paranormal Activity.
The toy failed. Parker Brothers gave up on the whole action figure thing, but the comic book based on this big-no-moving-robot toy lived on for 7 years. Not too shabby, eh? I now bow to the man Bill Mantlo. Mantlo had also brought the Micronauts to life in their own Marvel series and he gave Rom more life than a D.O.A. toy like this deserved. He turned Rom into an epic story about alienation and the value of one's humanity. Rom was from the planet Galador and had been transformed into a cyborg along with many others to defend his homeworld from the evil and terrifying Dire Wraiths. They were promised their human bodies would be kept safe and returned to them when the Wraiths were vanquished. Since he was the first to volunteer for this program Rom was given the Neutralizer, which would banish the Wraiths to Limbo forever (where they kept the Joes and my sister's ocassional Barbie or two company). The Wraiths were evil, evil bastards who could kill and then assume the form of anyone they killed. Rom and his fellow Spaceknights chased the Wraiths back to their homeworld. A battle ensued, the Wraiths lost and in a desperate panic fled their world to hide amongst the other worlds of the galaxy. Rom follows them to Earth. This is where Rom #1 begins. In it's early days, the book seemed to keep to it's own little corner in the Marvel U. As the series progressed, it became a much bigger part as the Wraiths reign of terror slowly grew to a boiling point. Rick Jones, a character from The Incredible Hulk, became Rom's sidekick. I remember a crossover or two with the likes of The Uncanny X-Men and Power Man and Iron Fist.
I don't want to give away too many spoilers so just download and enjoy this classic comic. You'll need the Comical reader below if you don't already have it to read the books. Install Comical on your PC. Then extract the comic pack .rar, also below, and open the individual books with the Comical program and you're golden.
Comical download (Sharebee)
Comical Homepage (if you'd like to learn more about it)