Rom #65

Issue Date: 
April 1985
Story Title: 

Bill Mantlo (writer), Steve Ditko, P.Craig Russell (artists), Janice Chiang (letterer), Petra Scotese (colorist), Mike Carlin (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in chief)

Brief Description: 

Rom stands helplessly, frozen by a Wraithspell on Earth, while in space an increasingly anxious Forge and an unhinged Gyrich are waiting for him. Rescue comes in the form of Rom’s friends, the Wraith Ranger Hunters and most of Earth’s heroes. They free Rom and take on the Wraiths. Cyndi Adams reminds Rom that this is merely a diversion of the Wraiths. The battle can only be won in space. Rom returns to Forge’s side and they train the Neo-Neutralizer on Wraithworld, first taking away its magic then destroying it, thus rendering all Wraiths helpless and winning the war once and for all.

Full Summary: 

Rom stands helplessly frozen by a Wraithspell, while there is chaos in the streets and the Worldmerge is almost upon them. He can only watch helplessly, blaming himself for having failed this world and the ones he loves.

Beyond Earth’s atmosphere, an international team of astronauts led by the mutant inventor Forge wait for Rom, for only he can power the Neoneutralizer meant to save Earth. If Rom is not back soon, it may well be too late to reverse the onslaught of the Worldmerge, he states nervously. Agent Gyrich accuses Forge of being up to something with Rom, but he won’t get away with it. He’s going to make sure that the Neoneutralizer is used to banish every Wraith on Earth and then make Earth safe by banishing every superbeing! Forge gets more nervous, realizing he’s stuck here with a madman, doomsday is fast approaching and Rom still hasn’t returned.

Rom is ashamed at his failure and around him Dire Wraiths gather to taunt him with his shame. The Wraiths mock that it cost them all that remained of their magic after triggering the Worldmerge to bind him, but now he is helpless to save either himself or the planet he is pledged to protect. He will die and Earth will die with him!

Desperate, Rom thinks that it can’t end like that. Surely the cataclysms of Worldmerge have made the champions of Earths aware that now is the moment to make the ultimate sacrifice. Surely the heroes will succeed where he failed.

The Wraiths taunt that he should have no hope. He is alone and abandoned. Whichever heroes Earth might have marshaled in her defense have either been overwhelmed by the cataclysms accompanying Worldmerge or crouch cowering in fear, awaiting the end.

That’s where they are wrong! comes a powerful voice and the Wraiths stand aghast as they are attacked by a horde of heroes: Led by Captain America, there are the Avengers East and West, Beta Ray Bill, the X-Men, the Defenders, the Soviet Super-Soldiers and from all corners of the glove heroes like Peregrine, Shamrock, Captain Britain, the Arabian Knight and more.

But it’s not only the superhumans that fight for the future of Earth. They are joined by the Wraith-Hunter Rangers as well as Rick Jones, Brandy Clark and Cindy Adams all armed with energy guns. The three push through the swath cut in the Wraiths’ ranks to stand at the side of the immobilized Rom.

Cindy, joined with the Wraith conscious, explains that they bound him with magic. How can they break the spell? Rick wonders. They haven’t any special powers, Brandy muses, but perhaps they don’t need them. All Wraith magic is conceived in evil – hate. Perhaps they can reverse their spells with… As Brandy embraces the space knight and kisses him Rick feels a pang of jealousy, realizing he’s begun to fall in love with Brandy.

Whether it is Brandy ‘s kiss and her love or the weakening of the Wraiths’ spell as they fight the heroes none can say but the mystic ties that bound Rom melt away and he stands ready to join the fray.

His rocket pods lift him above the battlefield and Rom turns and aims Galador’s greatest weapon down at the alien enemy he has fought for over 200 years, banishing them to Limbo.

Surrounded by the ranks of the Wraiths, Rom and the heroes battle bravely in defense of the imperiled planet. Yet the true danger of the imminent Woldmerge has been forgotten in the clamor of combat. But Cyndi Adam’s Wraith-touched mind is privy to the Wraiths’ plan and she realizes that this battle is merely a delaying tactic. The Wraiths seek to hold Rom here, while the true victory can only be won in space! Cindy cries out loudly and the cry reaches the spaceknight who realizes she is right.

He flies off towards space where Forge and Gyrich are waiting on the Neo-Neutralizer platform. Forge points the battle out to Gyrich, telling him that these heroes fighting valiantly for Earth are the Gyrich whose powers Gyrich wants to destroy.

They’re fighting for their own survival! is Gyrich’s conviction and Forge despairs at the other man’s stubborness. Gyrich intends to seize the Neo-neutralizer to destroy both Wraith and heroes. Forge tosses him off the platform.

Rom catches Gyrich and greets Forge. With Gyrich tied up and believing they are scheming something, Rom powers the Neo-neutralizer with his neutralizer and then they turn the weapon…at Wraithworld.

Gyrich shouts at them they are traitors to Earth. They have betrayed nobody, Rom explains, save Gyrich’s expectations that they would train the Neo-neutralizer on Earth, destroying both Wraiths and depowering the superhumans. So instead, they decided to eradicate the Wraiths’ evil at the source of their sorcerous might – Wraithworld.

Wherever the Neo-neutralizer beam touches the oncoming planet, baleful black magic gives way to beauty. The harsh horror of its surface softens… and flowers begin to bloom.

Forge tells Rom they are still in trouble. Rom agrees. Whether Wraithworld is a purgatory or paradise, its closeness to Earth will still cause massive destruction. For no two worlds can occupy the same position in space at the same time.

As they pour on the energy, the world begins to dwindle and disappear, for without its magic, it can no longer exist and, with the planet gone, the Wraiths have ceased to be a menace.

And with the sun shining again on Earth, the heroes cheer.

Characters Involved: 



Cyndi Adams, Brandy Clarke, Rick Jones (Rom’s friends)

General Merriwether Locklin and the Wraith Hunter-Ranger

Black Knight, Captain America, Captain Marvel II, Hercules, Scarlet Witch, Starfox, Vision (Avengers)

Beta Ray Bill

Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Tigra, Wonder Man (Avengers West Coast)

Colossus, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Shadowcat. Wolverine (all X-Men)

Professor X

Angel, Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Moondragon, Valkyrie (all Defenders)


Darkstar, Vanguard, Ursa Major (Soviet Supersoldiers)

Arabian Knight, Blitzkrieg, Captain Britain, Peregrine, Shamrock

Story Notes: 

There are several artistic errors here: for example Captain Britain is still depicted in his original uniform instead of his Union Jack suit and worse: Professor Xavier is depicted in a wheelchair even though he could walk at the time.

This proves to be the end of the Wraith war. Next issue shows the clean-up and Rom’s goodbye from Earth. He then continues to have adventures in space until he is joined by his love, Brandy, and returned to Galador, where his humanity is restored in the last issue #75.

Issue Information: 
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