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Comic Book / ROM (IDW)

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The Space Knight returns.

Far, far away, in another galaxy, the knights of the Solstar Order, defenders of justice and truth, have been ambushed by the evil magicians, the Dire Wraiths. The Solstar Order has prevailed and is now seeking out their scattered enemies. One of these knights has followed the trail of the Dire Wraiths all the way to Earth. This one, the Dire Wraiths fear more than all others. This one has hounded them and kept them underground for centuries. This one alone could wipe them off the face of creation.

He is Rom, Lord of the Solstar Order. Rom, the Wraithslayer. ROM, the Space Knight!

But he must be careful. The Dire Wraiths can assume any form they wish...

Launched in May 2016, ROM is IDW Publishing's reboot of ROM: Spaceknight, set in a Darker and Edgier (though not by much) universe. The comic is penned by Ascended Fanboys Chris Ryall and Christos Gage, with art by David Messina and Paolo Villaneli.

As a Hasbro licensed property, the comic is part of the Hasbro Comic Universe, and crossed over with the other series as part of Revolution. The comic ended with issue 14, and was retooled after First Strike as Rom and the Micronauts.


  • Adaptation Species Change: Since IDW can't use any concepts that were created for the Marvel comic, Rom's race is changed from Galadorian to Elonian, with the different alien race established by his unarmored self changed from a Human Alien to be a blue-skinned Rubber Forehead Alien.
  • Alien Blood: The Wraiths have green blood in the Transformers Revolution one-shot but red in the G.I. Joe one.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Dire Wraiths, save for one or two exceptions, live to conquer.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population:
    • The Elonians have blue skin as do the Wraiths (or green or brown Depending on the Artist) and Orphion's race. All three have a different shade of blue however.
    • Livia has red skin depite also being an Elonian. Different ethnicity?
  • Ambiguous Situation: The ultimate fate of the Dire Wraiths and the Solstar Order is left unclear with the end of the Hasbro shared universe. Both sides have sustained heavy losses with no clear path to victory for either side.
  • Badass Bookworm: Rom, the Wraithslayer, was originally a geologist before he joined the war effort.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Nikomi, a member of the Solstar Order, is a giant alien bear who wears a Domino Mask. Bad news for Dire Wraiths, but no worse than any Drill Sergeant Nasty for Space Knights.
  • Big Bad: The Wraith Sorcerer D'rge.
  • Body Horror: In issues 5 and 6 when Camilia is mutating into a Dire Wraith.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: When it comes to destroying Earth in issue 7. Orphion highlights the large presence of Dire Wraiths on the planet while Rom points out that Earth is a Cybertronian colony and destroying it might spark a war with the Cybertronians.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: The Dire Wraith D'rge lampshades this. Rom himself seems to agree as he realizes that the Knights have no idea of any long term plans the Wraiths might have due to simply killing them all instead of interrogating them. The Wraith Priest in issue 10 mercilessly lampshades it to Orphion.
  • Canon Welding: Rom's armor is implied to be formed from Regenesis ore.
  • Continuity Reboot: This series is totally separate from ROM Spaceknight and can't use anything from the original (save Rom and the Wraiths) forcing IDW to totally reimagine the universe.
  • Crisis of Faith: Orphion has been in one since the Wraiths invaded his world, feeling that if gods existed, they wouldn't have let such atrocities happen.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Rom effortlessly takes down Beach Head in issue 7.
  • Dark Is Evil: While he's not evil, Orphion's armor is a noticeably darker hue than his fellows signifying his more trigger happy nature.
  • Death by Origin Story: Rom lost his younger brother and mothers to the Dire Wraiths before becoming a Space Knight.
  • Depending on the Artist: Though it could be due to the shapeshifting and caste system, the appearance of the Dire Wraiths changes radically in the main series and Revolution.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Baron Karza ultimately betrays the God of the Wraith's at the end of Rom and the Micronauts as the heroes gain the upperhand, stealing its power and using it to dispel the Entropy Cloud in Microspace.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Rom himself is this to the Dire Wraiths.
    • The Dire Wraiths. Though it's not quite clear whether alien powers such as the Decepticons fear them or are just disgusted by them to the point of wanting nothing to do with them. Whichever the case, Megatron was stated to have loathed them so much he avoided a Wraith-infested area dubbed the Dark Nebula. Another reason might be that a fleet of Worldsweepers- as in, those giant Decepticon symbol ships- went missing in there.
    • The Wraiths are also pretty wary of engaging Cybertronians.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Rom believes that the war will end on Earth. Orphion comes to agree but is unsure whether Earth being special is a good or bad thing.
  • Expy: Livia is seemingly one of Starshine, given that she is a female Space Knight who used to be in love with Rom.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Dire Wraiths. They're ok with it.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The Solstar Order hates both Dire Wraiths and Cybertronians. The latter is slightly downplayed for Rom. Slightly.
    • The Wraiths do not like humans. They view just about every other sentient race as prey.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Dire Wraiths are prone to feigning amiability to bait their victims.
  • The Federation: The Solstar Order looked to be this before the Wraiths invaded.
  • Flying Brick: The Spaceknights.
  • Forever War: The Wraiths and Solstar Order have been fighting for 200 years.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Among the other Hasbro characters, Rom seems to be this with no one really trusting him and being glad to have him leave, only putting up with him due to his Analyzers. Some members of G.I. Joe even want to kill him.
    • This fades with time as Rom befriends Bumblebee and the Micronauts during his crossovers with those books.
  • General Ripper: Orphion cares not about the risk of collateral damage on other worlds when combating the Dire Wraiths, which puts him at odds with Rom due to Rom not wanting to risk harming innocents.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Dire Wraith God mentioned in issue 10. It's also hinted that one of Shockwave's ores may be responsible for the war between Wraiths and Knights in the first place.
  • Happy Ending Override: Rom and the Micronauts ends with most of the Wraiths revealed and being subdued by humanity. Then Unicron devours Elonia.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The Solstar Order, particularly Orphion, is heading in this direction.
  • Heroic Willpower: They are incredibly rare, but individuals with the strength to halt and resist Wraith infections do exist. Rom's ally, Camilla Byers demonstrates this ability. Later, Ultra Magnus and Acroyear manage to halt their infections as well.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Rom. Unsurprisingly, seemingly killing random people doesn't help with PR. Even after Revolution, some rogue members of G.I. Joe still hunt him. Averted in issue 10 where people acknowledge Rom's heroism and thank him and his fellow knights for protecting Earth...all the while thinking the Space Knights are Autobots.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: And in Orphion's opinion, not in a good way as it's made Rom soft.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Orphion read the internet and quickly came to this conclusion.
  • Humans Are Special: Rom's opinion of us. As said above, Orphion disagrees but eventually gives Rom a chance to prove it.
  • Hypocrite:
    • D'rge scolds Rom for viewing the Dire Wraiths as a Red Shirt Army. D'rge has very little compassion for his minions.
    • As Soundwave points out in Revolution, for all that the Solstar Order looks down on Cybertronians for endless war, they're caught in one themselves and kill without mercy or trial.
  • Large Ham: Just read the way Rom talks.
  • Magic Versus Science: Like in ROM Spaceknight.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much:
    • The Dire Wraith who calls himself Ruan Sablik has no interest in war and just wants to live on Earth in peace. Another Wraith known as CONS4EVA also expressed this feeling.
    • Rom seems to be heading this way, noting that the Knights seem more interested in continuing the war than ending it.
  • Mythology Gag: In the Annual, the earlier Neutralizers are based on the original ROM toy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Orphion's insistence on destroying Earth allows the Wraiths to absorb the energy of his Neutralizer when he fires it down one of their facilities in an attempt to destabilize the core.
  • Oh, Crap!: Happens a lot.
    • To the Wraiths whenever Rom shows up.
    • In issue 2, when Rom realizes the Wraiths are searching for ways to cloak themselves from the Analyzer.
    • In the Revolution one shot, Rom freaks out when he sees the mutated form of Axiom and that the Wraiths are merging magic and technology.
    • Several in the Reinforcements arc. In issue 5, Rom finds Camilia partially mutated into a Dire Wraith. In issue 6, he has to stop Orphion from killing Camilia. In issue 7, when Rom sees how many Wraiths are on Earth before G.I. Joe attacks. Then when Orphion decides to destroy Earth. Finally in issue 9 when Livia nearly dies and the Absence makes itself known.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Neutralizer has this effect on Wraiths. As of issue 10 however, things may get a bit harder for the Knights.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: Subverted. It looks like this is the case with Rom flying solo, but Spaceknights are supposed to have partners. Rom's died and he never requested a new one. Orphion chews Rom out for this.
  • Origins Episode: The Annual serves to explain how Rom became a Solstar Knight and how the rest of the Solstar Order was formed.
  • Power Trio: Starting in Reinforcements, Rom seems to form one with Orphion and Livia.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rom gives one to Orphion in issue 9, though it can also be mixed with What the Hell, Hero?.
    Rom: Orphion! You cite honor and duty for your every action. But I say you profane the words! Our code is a guide. You use it as an excuse. An excuse not to think. Not to feel. Not to make painful decisions for yourself! You cite responsibility to absolve yourself from responsibility. But I will hold you to account! Livia is your partner...your friend. If you let her die when you could save her...if you destroy Earth when its people should be our are no longer a Solstar Knight. And no longer a man.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Inverted for the Knights but played straight for the Wraiths.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Averted with Orphion, who is not evil per se, and in issue 10, a young girl gives him a flower as thanks for protecting Earth. Although, his General Ripper tendencies do put him at odds with Rom.
  • Running Gag: People mistaking Rom for a Cybertronian. Deconstructed slightly as the government, particularly G.I. Joe, is quick to blame Optimus Prime for anything Rom does until it's cleared up. It continues however in issue 10. Livia rolls with it while Orphion couldn't be more displeased.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: There are more than a few hints that Rom is this. Darby Mason is clearly this.
  • Shout-Out: Darby references Star Wars and the Trojan War while explaining her plan to sneak Rom into an EDC base.
    • The town of Cooper's Mill contains Mantlo Park, named after the writer of the original Marvel runs of ROM and Micronauts, Bill Mantlo, who has been in the hospital since 1992, when he was hit by a car while rollerblading and subsequently fell into a coma; he's since come out of it, but has suffered irreparable brain damage.
  • Snake People: Orphion, and presumably the rest of his species.
  • Super-Soldier: The warrior caste of Wraiths.
  • Squishy Wizard: As shown in the Revolution one shots of Transformers and G.I. Joe, standard bullets will kill Dire Wraiths just as well as Neutralizers.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: The Neutralizers have a number of settings for all scenarios.
  • Translator Microbes: Romís Analyser allows him to speak any language after hearing a few words of it.
  • Trigger-Happy: The default reaction of a Spaceknight to anything strange is to shoot it.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Dire Wraiths though they need to 'infect' something first before taking its form.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In Revolution #3, when Soundwave calls out Rom for the killings in Portland, Rom doesn't deny he killed but retorts that he hasn't killed any humans. Soundwave points out that, regardless of the race, Rom still killed sentient beings without any mercy or trial.
  • Wizards from Outer Space: The Dire Wraiths.