In 1979, Parker-Brothers created a new action figure, Rom the Spaceknight. Standing about 13 inches tall, Rom was silver with glowing red eyes, lit by the 9-volt battery in his back. He also had the Darth Vader breathing noise and a rocket pack that made blast off noises. He also possessed three attachments: the Translator, the Analyser, and the Neutralizer. All of them could be held by our hero and made the requisite toy noise when the button on his back was pressed.

Rom would have possibly passed into toy oblivion along with My Buddy, Big Jim, and Digger the Dog if not for some savvy cross-merchandising with Marvel Comics. Marvel came out with a comic book featuring Rom the Spaceknight, which lasted much longer than the toy was popular. Beginning in 1979, Rom the Spaceknight comics ran until 1986.

In the comic book, Rom was a citizen of the world Galador. Galador was a technologically advanced race with interstellar capabilities and an idyllic planet. It was like so many other alien planets that populate the world of comic books, where advanced technology and science have created a world of peace, prosperity, and leisure, not one of cell phone towers, bad microwave pizza, and Galadorians sent out their space fleet to other worlds on a kind of extended AmeriCorps project, helping others and giving them technological advancement.

As is the way of the interstellar realm, no good deed goes unpunished so the Galadorian fleet ran into trouble when they entered the Dark Nebula. They were ambushed by the forces of the Dire Wraiths, a group of evil Pillsbury Doughboys with attitude and a giant bird creature called a Dreadwing that could eat starships. The fleet was destroyed by the Dire Wraiths, causing Galador to instigate a new program to remove the threat of the Dire Wraiths from the universe.

The leader of Galador, the Prime Director (very Star Trek), asked for volunteers to have their brains put into cybernetic bodies called Spaceknights who would have the power to combat the threat of the Dire Wraiths. The first to step forward was Rom and he and his fellow Spaceknights underwent the process. Their bodies were stored for the day when they would be able to return to them after the Wraiths were destroyed.

The Spaceknights smashed the Dire Wraith forces, sending them scattering. They employed advanced technology, with each Spaceknight specially equipped for his own strengths. The Spaceknights did not kill the Dire Wraiths, instead sending them to Limbo (sort of a Dire Wraith Phantom Zone) where they would suffer for all eternity. The Spaceknights pursued the Wraiths, vowing to eradicate them. A large concentration of the Wraiths was found on Earth, so Rom came to rid the planet of the threat.

Rom worked for years to destroy the forces of the Dire Wraiths on Earth. He often came into conflict with Earth's heroes and the human authorities as he was targeting Wraiths who had the ability to look human. These misunderstandings put him outside of the "law" often times, but eventually he became friends with many of the heroes of Earth and battled along side them to destroy this insideous menace. Eventually, the male science-based Dire Wraiths were replaced by their female magic-based counterparts, who would suck the brains out of their victims with their tongues and take their place.

Finally, Rom was able to destroy the Wraith menace on Earth, when in a bold move, the Dire Wraiths sought to replace the Earth with their world. Using his Neutralizer and a machine that augmented its ability built by the mutant Forge, Rom was able to destroy not only the Wraith homeworld, but also cleanse the Earth of the Dire Wraiths living there.

Rom has since returned to his homeworld, where he battled a later generation of Spaceknights for control of the planet. The entire Galadorian population was killed by these new Spaceknights, who eventually were destroyed by their own schemes. Rom was able to return to his original body and with his wife, the human woman Brandy Clark, has begun the task of rebuilding Galador.

Thanks to lawnjart for the clarification of Rom's experiences on Earth.

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