Rom: Space Knight officially returns to Marvel Comics after nearly 40 years

Rom: The Original Years Vol. 1
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

After decades of demand by fans, Rom: Space Knight is returning to Marvel Comics - at least for reprints of the character's classic Marvel title of the '70s and '80s.

Based on a Hasbro toyline, Marvel's Rom comics incorporated the sci-fi hero into the Marvel Universe proper, including appearances by the character in other heroes' titles which themselves have yet to be reprinted. 

In this case, the classic Rom: Space Knight title will be reprinted by Marvel in Rom: The Original Years Omnibus, with vol. 1 containing Rom #1-29 as well as the character's guest appearance in Power Man and Iron Fist #73.

The omnibus' cover reprints legendary artist Frank Miller's cover for 1979's Rom: Space Knight #1 as well as a variant by Rom series artist Sal Buscema, a variant featuring art of Rom and the X-Men also by Miller, and a rare drawing of Rom from late artist George Pérez's archives. Rom: Space Knight #1 will also receive a Facsimile Edition reprint.

Here's a gallery of the covers, along with some interior art by Buscema:

The cult favorite title ended in 1986 after 75 issues and several annuals, with Rom making his final on-panel Marvel Universe appearance - in his unarmored humanoid form only, thanks to Marvel losing the Hasbro license - in 1994's Incredible Hulk #418. 

The Space Knights themselves continued to appear over the years, though with the slightly altered naming of 'Spaceknights,' including an eponymous 2000 limited series which featured a character named 'Artour' who was meant to be a license-friendly version of Rom under a different alias. And a 2015 series titled Venom: Space Knight brought Venom Flash Thompson into the Space Knight fold.

Now, Rom finally returns to Marvel after a stint as part of IDW Publishing's overall Hasbro line. It's unclear whether IDW, who last published a Rom comic in 2020, retains any licensing rights to the characters following this announcement. The publisher's license for Hasbro's GI Joe and Transformers ended at the end of 2022, though it was reported that IDW's other Hasbro licenses including My Little Pony would remain with the publisher.

However, IDW has since undergone heavy layoffs and restructuring to avoid dissolution, meaning that it's possible that there have since been further changes to their license.

Rom: The Original Years Omnibus Vol. 1 goes on sale in January 2024, preceded by Rom #1 Facsimile Edition in September.

Check out all of Marvel's just released August 2023 solicitations.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)