Earlier this year during New York City Comic-Con, comic book publisher IDW teased a few new projects by showing only their logos — and one of those logos was for ROM the Space Knight. ROM was a character originally designed as a Hasbro toy, and might’ve been forgotten back in the 70’s (since he didn’t sell very well), but the Marvel comic book based around him took on a life of its own and turned the robot-man into a cult favorite. Ever since that comic ended in 1986, fans have been begging Marvel for a reprint, which they cannot do because the rights to ROM still rest with Hasbro.
Now ROM is coming back…..but under the banner of a different company. IDW will begin a new ROM series this spring, starting on Free Comic Book Day with the release of ROM #0. The free issue will retell ROM’s origins and set up the situation for the fresh adventures to come. Since IDW owns none of the characters Marvel created on their own for the ROM comic, this will be an entirely new story….which may be for the better, since part of the original comic’s appeal was that it was a self-contained epic with a beginning and an end, not something that rambled on for decades like most of Marvel’s material does.
But what about those reprints??? Chris Ryall, editor-in-chief of IDW (and a gigantic ROM fan) told Comic Book Resources he would like to reprint the original series himself at some point, but the major problem with that is all the Marvel characters in it. This means it probably isn’t going to happen for a long time, unless IDW and Marvel can work out a deal together.