Legal issues. Legal issues suck for fans who just want to enjoy a thing. Be it music rights, or what have you. Rom was a comic I used to pick through when I was a kid. I think one of my brothers read it. I’m sure I snagged a few issues out of the 3 for a dollar bin at Pro Libris in Bangor, ME. I liked the look of the character. I liked the space battles. Only later did I find out there were legal battles behind the scenes. This or that person or company owned this or that element. Blah, blah, blah. Fast-forward a long, long time, and IDW has managed to get it all sorted out, bringing Rom back to comics just in time for 2016’s Free Comic Book Day.
Unfortunately, I immediately got a Stan Lee era Silver Surfer vibe. He’s a Space Knight! So, he’s now on contemporary Earth fighting alien invaders. Production budget isn’t an issue on a comic book, so setting a cosmic comic on contemporary Earth is almost as baffling as it is infuriating. Also, the dialog isn’t great. It’s not terrible. I mean, it’s not Stan Lee awful. But Rom references his various tools by name in a way you usually get in Saturday morning cartoons. “My ENERGY ANALYZER will reveal all.” Sigh. The art is OK. Rom’s design is a touch more Japanese-mecha looking, but not as much as usually happens with these newer redesigns.
So, I’m glad the character is back in rotation. I’m glad the legal issues have been worked out. Now, maybe they can put a better team on it some time.
-Matthew J. Constantine