From the Department of Things That We All New Would Happen Eventually, it looks like this is the year that the inevitable finally happens. At Comic-Con International in San Diego, IDW editor-in-chief Chris Ryall announced that ROM and Micronauts will finally be making their long-awaited return in 2016.

The two series were part of Marvel's roster of very lucrative toy comics in the '80s alongside Transformers and GI Joe, two other franchises that have been published by IDW in recent years. Since the end of their series and Marvel's loss of the licenses, ROM and Micronauts have remained two of the most notable books to never be reprinted or revived. Their impending return raises a lot of interesting questions about just what form it might take.


ROM toy ad, circa 1979
ROM toy ad, circa 1979


While ROM and Micronauts were licensed toy comics, writer Bill Mantlo, who worked on both titles, set them pretty firmly in the Marvel Universe. That might not be a huge deal for the Micronauts considering how many characters were part of the line, but ROM was only ever one toy, and aside from ROM himself, everything else that Mantlo created for the series --- including his enemies, the Dire Wraiths, and even ROM's own human form inside that distinctive armor --- stayed with Marvel in the years since, occasionally cropping up in books like Incredible Hulk and Earth X.

Even the title is Marvel's --- note that, unlike the original ROM: Spaceknight series, IDW's book is called "ROM The Space Knight," a small but significant alteration.

There's a certain segment of fans that have been clamoring for the character's return for years, and while details of the relaunch remain scarce, the announcement is certainly intriguing.

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