Just in time for me to have bought all those ROM back issues for the store, too.

§ May 26th, 2023 § Filed under marvel, publishing § 21 Comments

Well, this was as real week for “that’s the last thing I expected to hear”-type news, starting with the stunning return of failed-toy-but-reasonably-successful-comic-character ROM Spaceknight to Marvel Comics!

Now as far as anyone can tell, this “return” seems to be limited to reprinting the original material, in this case in those large Omnibus editions and at least one facsimile edition in the form of a reprint of issue #1. Also included will be those crossover issues that, previously, had been on the reprint-banned list and skipped over in trade collections for other characters. For example, an issue of Power Man and Iron Fist will be in Omnibus #1. (Which has me wondering…Peter David put an unarmored, totally human ROM in an issue of Incredible Hulk…will this Not Approved by the License Holder appearance get into an omnibus?)

At any rate, this is exciting news, with the license holder apparently discovering with the attempted ROM comics revival at another publisher a few years back that the ROM people want is the Marvel version. And my recommendation…if you want these, get your preorders in as soon as possible and buy them right away. No idea how long Marvel has the license, or under what restrictions (like how often can they reprint these books). I don’t know if waiting for cheaper “Epic” paperback collections would be wise.

And I don’t know if Marvel would be allowed to reissue some of their other trade collections that previously omitted any ROM appearances. Most notably, there’s an issue of Incredible Hulk that prominently featured the Spaceknight, #296 from 1984, that when reprinted had all of ROM’s appearances in the story replaced with text pieces explaining what happened without mentioning the character by his at that point unlicensed name. Be nice to have that fixed.

After the ROM announcement, people responded with “wow, now do the Micronauts,” and lo, Marvel done did the Micronauts. Like ROM, these comics will also be issued in the large Omnibus hardcover format, preceded by a facsimile edition of the initial Micronauts comic book. Most of the comments I made about the ROM reprints above can be applied to the Micronauts as well. Order early, order often!

I don’t think the Micronauts popped up in other Marvel comics as much as ROM did, but there’s at least the X-Men/Micronauts mini-series so hopefully that’ll make it in. Also, it’s actually pretty good.

The third, slightly less surprising news, is Image Comics announcing they’re shifting their distribution to Lunar. I mean, “less surprising” in that I figured another biggish publisher would split from Diamond and move elsewhere eventually, and that Image was one of the likely suspects.

Like with Marvel, Image will still be available through Diamond, but likely at a worse wholesale discount. This is a pretty significant hit to Diamond, I would think, and one I thought would be a fatal blow. But, given that apparently a number of retailers have stuck with Diamond for their Marvel business, despite it costing more, I imagine the same will occur with Image. So, you know, Diamond’s not done yet. But I can picture a day, maybe years from now, when the company will be “Your #1 Source for Sexy Anime Bikini Girl PVC Statues, and Only That!”

It will be nice to have a couple different sources for reorders, in case one of the other is out of stock on something. And the distributor competition has been good for Diamond, in that my shipments are relatively error free compared to, well, the last couple of decades. I know that’s not the case for everyone, as when I mentioned this on the Twitters I heard from another retailer that the missing/damaged books in his shipments have been just as bad, if not worse. As such, I’ll just consider myself lucky, and hope they’re not building up to a shipment where all my boxes are delivered on fire or something.

image from Incredible Hulk #418 (1994) by Peter David, Gary Frank and Cam Smith

21 Responses to “Just in time for me to have bought all those ROM back issues for the store, too.”

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    No omnibi for me, thanks, but I’ll be there if they get around to putting the Ditko runs from both series into Epic editions,

  • Sean Mageean says:

    Hopefully Marvel can work out a deal with Hasbro to just buy the comic and film rights to both ROM and the Micronauts, as it seems that the shared Universe based on Hasbro toys and Paramount films isn’t really gaining momentum.

    And an actual Micronauts film trilogy based on the classic first twelve issues of the Marvel Comics Micronauts run would be way better than the Quantumania film was.

    As per the Micronauts appearing in other comics, if I remember correctly, the teens with Mego at the time were that The Micronauts were not allowed to appear in other Marvel titles, but Marvel characters could feature in Micronauts comics; hence why we saw Man-Thing, Nick Fury and SHIELD, Fantastic Four, and Ant-Man, Nightcrawler (and probably other Marvel characters I’m forgetting) have guest appearances in Micronauts comics. And then there was that 4 issue limited series with the X-Men and the Micronauts.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    …”terms” not “teens”.

  • Chris says:

    What next? Shogun Warriors and Crystar Omnibi? (I actually dug those titles as a kid!) Rom and Micronauts were my two favourite comics as a young un, so more than a little bit stoked, even though I have all the issues ‘natch. I’m kind of hoping they don’t do any new comics on those properties – though I think Micronauts would translate the best as a modern day comic and or movie. Those first 12 issues and the later Micronauts issues were pretty dark for their time (considering they were based on a kids range of toys). Looking forward to when they get to the Akin & Garvey inked issues, they’ll look even more beautiful on the good paper – really underrated inking team.

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    “a shipment where all my boxes are delivered on fire or something”

    Here’s that red hot order you requested!

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    Given what happened to a truck in Canada this past week, a shipment of flaming comics is now a distinct possibility.

  • DK says:

    This is my #1 pick of 2023 to go out of print IMMEDIATELY with a small print run at that (“ROM? Kids don’t like that, there are like 50 fans, right?”)

    No, seriously, listen to Mike. If you have even a small interest in reading these order this book IMMEDIATELY, it’ll be at cons in 2025 for $500.

    I have learned the hard way over and over that anything that makes you go “wow, they reprinted THAT?!?” is going to be canned immediately.

    Ask me about how much they were charging for the Detroit JLA Omnibus at my local con.

  • Daniel T says:

    ROM does appear uncensored in The Incredible Hulk by Peter David Omnibus v.3.

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    Hey, Marvel, now do Team America! F Yeah!

  • Sean Mageean says:


    13th Dimension has a nice “Best of Micronauts” covers article… it’s hard to beat Golden, Cockrum, Kane, Layton, and Guice!

  • Snark Shark says:

    “ROM appearances”

    There’s also Marvel Two In One #99, W/Rom & the Thing!

    Parker Bros/Mego outta just sell Marvel Rom and the Micros! I doubt they’re gonna come out with more toys!

  • Sean Mageean says:

    Snark Shark:

    Hasbro currently owns ROM and The Micronauts, but you are right, Marvel should just buy the entire rights to the characters outright and reintegrate them into the Marvel Universe. It would be great if they could bring back recreations of the original ROM and Micronauts toys and also create versions of the toys which are in scale with the regular Marvel character toys…or, in the case of The Micronauts, each Michal Golden-art based character could come with a standard scale size and a small Ant-Man and The Wasp scale size version of the character. I would love to have a Marvel Comics accurate action figure of Bug.

  • Joe Gualtieri says:

    I bought an almost complete run of Rom (two issues shy) two weeks ago and the comics wound up in my hands literally the day of this announcement. Sigh.

  • I wondered whether you, if no one else, would be paying attention to this news.

  • Snark Shark says:


    Damnation! I guess Hasbro owns all the toys, and Disney owns all the movies!

    “an almost complete run of Rom”

    You’ll get to read em sooner, though, and WITH the letters pages!

  • Sean Mageean says:

    Snark Shark:

    Re: Hasbro, yeah I was thinking about how Hasbro does most of the Marvel action figures anyway. I can see them not wanting to necessarily replicate the Parker Brothers iteration of the ROM toy or the Mego iteration of The Micronauts toys, but it totally makes sense for Hasbro to make Marvel Comics-based action figures of ROM and the other Space Knights and also of The Micronauts –even if Hasbro retains the copyrights.

  • CalvinPitt says:

    I picked up ROM in back issues a few years back, but this is a good announcement for the people that would prefer it in a nice collected edition.

    About Image shifting (at least partially) to a new distributor: Mike, does having to file orders with multiple distributors increase the workload on your end?

  • Jon H says:

    “It would be great if they could bring back recreations of the original ROM and Micronauts toys ”

    Honestly many of the micronauts toys were more than a bit crap. Something along the lines of “same general idea but modern implentation” would be better. Also some resemblance to the comic characters would be nice. The only protagonist with a toy that was in the ballpark was Acroyear. Most of the protagonists never got a decent action figure.

  • Jon H says:

    The micronauts issue with the women in the forced-birthing machines jumping to their deaths was pretty heavy comics content for young Me.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “ROM and Micronauts”

    The Micros looked cool, but had a lot of parts that could get lost, apparently. always higher priced when I saw them second-hand, never saw them new. I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a ROM figure in person at all!

    “women in the forced-birthing machines”

    So, they predicted Texas!

  • Sean Mageean says:

    Jon H. :

    The nostalgic part of me wants Hasbro to reissue the Mego Micronauts toys, as it would take me back to my childhood, but I agree that Hasbro might as well also make Marvel Comics-accurate action figure iterations of the Micronauts based on the art of Michael Golden, Pat Broderick, Butch Guice, et al. One would think Hasbro could get at least ten waves out of this. Wave 1 would include Arcturus Rann, Princess Mari, Bug, Acroyer, Baron Karza, Biotron, Microtron, and Time Traveler. But the overall Marvel Comics Micronauts cast is pretty big, so there would be plenty of opportunities to build the toy line.

    I don’t know if Hasbro or someone else has the rights to Battlestar Galactica, but it would also be cool to see an original Battlestar Galactica wave if action figures that actually looked like the o.g. characters.