Rom (September 4, 1979) – This Day In Comics
Rom #1 – Arrival! released by Marvel
“Rom” was a toy co-created by Scott Dankman, Richard C. Levy, and Bryan L. McCoy. It was sold to Parker Brothers, and was the inspiration for the comic book series Rom: Spaceknight. The toy was originally named COBOL, after the programming language, but was later changed to “Rom” by Parker Brothers executives. To build interest in the toy, Parker Brothers licensed the character to Marvel Comics, which created a comic book featuring Rom.
The comic expanded on the premise that Rom was a cyborg and gave him an origin, personality, set of supporting characters and villains, as well as interaction within the Marvel Universe. The comic book outlasted the toy which it was created to support. In the comic book, Rom is more than a simple cyborg, being originally from a utopian society on the planet Galador.
The series details Rom’s defeat of the invading Dire Wraith alien race, and the continuation of their battle on Earth and other planets. Unlike the technologically advanced Galadorian civilization, the Dire Wraiths rely primarily on dark magic and their power to change their appearance. Galador is threatened by a fleet of ships manned by the Dire Wraiths. Galador’s ruler, the Prime Director, calls for volunteers to be transformed into Spaceknights, cyborg warriors that can defend the planet from the invaders. Rom was the first to volunteer, and was transformed into a large, silver humanoid that at first glance appeared to be totally robotic. Rom was given Galador’s greatest weapon – the Neutralizer – which on one setting could banish the Wraiths into the Limbo dimension forever.