#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s Awesome Applesauce: Charles Quevedo
I was doing some research on the Internet on what other comic book movies that Marvel Studios is planning and will be coming out with in the near future. Many of you comic book nerds already know that “Thor”, “Ant-Man”, “The First Avenger: Captain America”, “The Avengers”, “X-Men: First Class”, “Cage” (a.k.a. “Power Man”), “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and the “Spider-Man” reboot; have been in talks to be developed or are currently being filmed. I was amazed to discover that one character that Marvel Studios will NEVER be make into a feature movie is “Rom: Spaceknight”. Why? According to reports, Marvel no longer owns the rights to the character, having lost it to the toy & board game manufacturer, Parker Brothers.
I’m definitely bummed about this because I actually owned a few of the comics as a kid and always thought a movie about this character would rock the cinema world. Yeah, I admit that he looks like some kind weird shiny kitchen untensil with legs and probably doesn’t look like much, but if “Rom” was given the latest state-of-the-art “digital effects”, he would definitely dazzle us and put the rest of these superhero films to shame.
“ROM” TOY ORIGIN:
The “Rom: Spaceknight” toy was co-created by Bing McCoy and Richard Levy. It was sold to Parker Brothers (who normally made board games and had no experience making electronic toys). The toy was originally called COBOL (after the programming language), but was later changed to “ROM” (after “Read Only Memory”) by the Parker Brothers executives. It was decided that the toy would be made cheaply as possible. Made with non-moving limbs and twin red LEDs as Rom’s eyes, the toy failed, selling ONLY 200-300,000 units in the United States. McCoy blamed the poor packaging and marketing. Parker Brothers discontinued the manufacturing of “Rom” and went back to making board games. The “Rom” action figure has since become a huge collector’s item to comic book, superhero and sci-fi nerds. The toy can usually be found being auctioned off on eBay now-and-then.
“ROM” COMIC BOOK ORIGIN:
Parker Brothers had licensed the “Rom” character to Marvel Comics to create a comic book to build interest in the toy. The comic was written by Bill Mantlo and illustrated by artist Sal Buscema (later replaced by artist, Steve Ditko); making “Rom” a cyborg and giving him an “origin” story, villains, supporting characters and interaction with other Marvel comic book characters (such as “The Incredible Hulk”, “Alpha Flight”, “The Uncanny X-Men” and others). After the failure of the toy line, the comic book series continued, lasting 75 issues (and 4 annuals) over a seven year period. According to reports, because Marvel no longer owns the rights to “Rom”, he can no longer appear in armored form in Marvel’s comic books.
“Galador“, the home planet of “Rom”, was threatened by an invading fleet of shape-shifting aliens known as, “The Dire Wraiths”. Galador’s ruler, the Prime Director, called for volenteers to be transformed into “Spaceknights” (cybernetic warriors), so they could defend their planet from the invaders. Rom was the first to be transformed, at first glance, appearing to be totally robotic. He was given Galador’s greatest weapon — the Neautralizer — which one could banish the Dire Wraiths to another dimension, “Limbo”. 1,000 other Galadorians were inspired by Rom and were transformed into Spaceknights (each with their own armor, powers, and code names). Rom and the rest of the Space Knights succeeded in stopping the Dire Wraith invasion. When the Dire Wraiths scattered across the universe, Rom swore an oath not to return to Galador until he tracked and vanquished them. 200 years later, Rom crash landed on Earth in the small town of Clairton, West Virginia. With the help of a young woman, “Brandy Clark”, Rom fough and vanquished the Dire Wraiths (who were secretly tryying to take over Earth), becoming Clairton’s personal guardian.
I know that many of you have NEVER even heard of this “Rom” character. It’s one of Marvel’s MORE lesser known characters, but it’s one that surprisingly has a huge fan base around the world. Ive always thought of “Rom” to be a badass combination of “Iron man”, “Robo Cop”, and “The Terminator”. Whoever gets to make this movie in the future, let’s hope they do it right by giving it a huge financial budget and great great digital effects. “Rom” has the potential to be a kick-ass movie! I just hope I’m STILL alive when it finally does get made.
Follow Charles on Twitter: @FuglyCharlie