Rom is a toy I only ever knew from the comic books. And that seems to have been most people's experience, the comic book space knight fighting alien shapeshifting invaders the Dire Wraiths until he was defeated by licensing issues with the original toy owner Parker Bros and then Hasbro.
Well Hasbro and IDW are tight. And finally, it's come back to comics for Free Comic Book Day and Rom #0 by ef Chris Ryall, Christos Gage and David Messina. This Rom is one known to Earth's law enforcers, the senior ones at least, he's a trustest ally rather than a mysterious stranger – even if some of the officers aren't quite what they appear to be.
Because, yes, it's Rom and he's up against the shape shifting invading Dire Wraiths, straight out of David Icke's conspiracies, and created for Marvel by Bill Mantlo and Al Milgrom in that first Marvel issue. Here, however, they look very different to the Marvel versions.
Oh one other note. There's also a full page thanks to Bil Mantlo, co-creator of the Rom comic, Rocket Raccoon, Beta Ray Bill and much more, as well as a link for people to donate towards his full-time care.
The comic also has the first Action Man comic published in the USA. Based on the UK-version of GI Joe, we are given a man who can do the impossible, for Queen and Country, a suped-up classic James Bond figure, with a comedy sidekick, working for MI6 and their comedy sidekick, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It is over the top ridiculousness and reminds me very much of Ace Rimmer, the idealised version of the snivelling Arnold Rimmer and indeed passes the mantle over in a very similar way.
And yes, a reference to Action Man's eagle eyes there…
Remember that line from On Her Majesty's Secret Service with George Lazenby as Bond? "This never happened to the other guy…" That's where the IDW Action Man is going.
ROM FCBD #0 contains 100% original comic books. Free Comic Book Day is May 7th 2016.