ByAnthony DiChiara, writer at
I'm the Creator of The Gray Guardian, author of The Human Factor, The Grinning Man , and the children's book, If I Had Super Powers
Anthony DiChiara

IDW Publishing is bringing back Rom the SpaceKnight in a new comic book series scheduled to hit comic book shops in May, just in time for Free Comic Book Day. Rom #0 will be part of IDW's "Gold" offering for Free Comic Book Day in order to get fans interested in picking up the new, ongoing series that's to follow.

For those of you too young to remember, Rom started out as a toy that hit shelves waaaaaay back in 1979. It was the first toy brought to market by Parker Bros, which made board games. Parker Bros executives were so nervous about developing a toy, that they decided to produce it on the cheap, just in case it failed— which ironically was the cause of the toy failing.

Rom was billed as the first LED toy, which meant that it had glowing eyes, and a glowing gun and universal translator... WOW! The so-called action figure wasn't very posable, with only a few points of articulation— you could raise his arms and legs. He had some sound effects built into his ray gun and rocket pack as well.

Although the toy didn't last long— it barely lasted a year on the market, it did spawn a Marvel Comic book, which lasted from December 1979 to February 1986 and ran for 75 issues.

So why bring back Rom? IDW Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief, and series writer, Chris Ryall believes that Rom has a fanbase waiting for his return.

“It’s no hyperbole for me to say that launching a new Rom comic is one of the things we’ve most wanted to make happen for fans,” said Ryall. “I know this because I’m one of them. The character has been absent from comics for too long and we can’t wait to introduce this all-new version to the world.”

Rom the Space Knight tells the story of Rom, a member of the benevolent Solstar Order and greatest of the Space Knights, interstellar soldiers in a centuries-old war with the Dire Wraiths. The Wraiths are a race of alien invaders who’ve destroyed many planets and infiltrated Earth for nefarious purposes.

Rom the Space Knight #0 will feature an introductory 10-page story of Rom’s arrival on Earth, an incident that sets up an ongoing Rom series launching in July 2016.

“Many people have only heard of Rom but that’s it,” continued Ryall. “And those that do know of his past iteration might have some preconceived notion of what this series will be. And while we can promise that the DNA of the character as established with the original toy remains intact, there will be surprises galore as people experience a new universe built entirely around Rom and company.”

Christos Gage will co-write with Ryall, with art by David Messina, who will also be sharing artistic duties on the ongoing Rom series. The cover art for Rom #0 is by the art team of Zach Howard and Nelson Daniel.

As an added bonus, the issue will contain additional content including character sketches, creator interviews and a glimpse of things to come. This debut represents a major launch for IDW and Hasbro next year, and this special first story will be free throughout the universe next May!

Cover art to Rom #0
Cover art to Rom #0


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