ROM: Spaceknight is unquestionably one of my all-time favorite comics. Part of that is just because of how weird it is -- a licensed toy tie-in launched before G.I. Joe and Transformers for a line of action figures that only included exactly one toy that fleshed things out by dropping him straight into the Marvel Universe and ended up running for 75 issues, plus annuals -- but really, it's more because it was really good. Writer Bill Mantlo managed to take the bare minimum of source material and build something that was operatic and compelling, on par with anything else of the era.

Tragically, Mantlo -- also the co-creator of Rocket Raccoon -- was struck by a hit-and-run driver in 1992 and suffered a traumatic brain injury, bringing his comics writing career to a close and leaving him in need of constant care. There's been a surge of awareness about him lately, and the the latest is coming from Rob Harrington, whose ROM Remix Project has seen 20 artists re-creating the entirety of ROM #1 in an effort to lead more people to Mantlo and raise money for his ongoing care.

 

ROM Remix Project Art by Martin Szymanski

 

Originally released in 1979, ROM: Spaceknight #1 told the story of a cyborg from the planet Galador who gave up his humanity to wage an endless battle against the Dire Wraiths, a shape-shifting deviant offshoot of the Skrulls who had also mastered magic and had been infiltrating society on Earth, positioning themselves for a secret takeover of the entire planet. ROM was able to distinguish who was a Dire Wraith with the use of his Analyzer and then banish them to Limbo, but to ordinary humans, it just looked like he was running around vaporizing people, something that did not give him a great reputation. It's a pretty great concept, and one of the highlights of Mantlo's considerable career.

For the remix project, Harrington gathered different artists to recreate the entire first issue, linking each page back to the Bill Mantlo Support Fund. It's all well worth checking out, but here are a few of the highlights:

 

ROM Remix page by Lance Schibi, Megan Wilson and Chas Pangburn

 

ROM Remix page by Justin Wood

 

ROM Remix page by Jesse Mesa Toves and HdE

 

ROM Remix page by Rafer Roberts

 

See more at the Rom Remix Tumblr!

 

 

[Via Robot 6]