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Rom
REAL NAME: Rom
KNOWN ALIASES: None
IDENTITY: Rom’s existence was known to the people of Galador, the Dire Wraiths, and to many Unites States government and military officials, as well as to many of Earth’s Superhuman adventurers and the populace of Clairton, Virginia. The general public of Earth, however, did not know of Rom’s existence.
OCCUPATION: Former Spaceknight of Galador, now progenitor of a new Galadorian race.
CITIZENSHIP: Citizen of Galador
PLACE OF BIRTH: The planet Galador, location unknown. (Although the Galadorians claim that Galador existed in the “Golden Galaxy” and was moved to another galaxy by Galactus, it is unclear where Galador’s past and current locations are. Possibly Galador has always existed in the Milky Way Galaxy.)
MARITAL STATUS: Now unofficially married
KNOWN RELATIVES: Brandy Clark (unofficial wife)
GROUP AFFILIATION: Former member of the Spaceknights of Galador
BASE OF OPERATIONS: Galador, formerly Earth
FIRST APPEARANCE: Rom #1 (1979)

HISTORY: Rom was born about two hundred Earth years ago on Galador, the home planet of a peaceful civilization at the peak of its prosperity. With war virtually unknown, Galador’s active fleet of starships traveled the galaxy to share their technology and philosophy with other civilizations. Although the Galadorians had always been universally welcomed, upon entering the so-called Dark Nebula for the first time, an armada of Dire Wraiths, a hostile civilization of shape changing beings, ambushed them. The Dire Wraiths supplemented their attack by summoning Deathwing, a large bird-like demonic being that consumed whole spaceship, leaving survivors burned and disfigured. By the end of the attack, the entire Galadorian space fleet had been destroyed.

The Prime Director of Galador, learning of the disaster, asked the general populace of the planet for volunteers to sacrifice their human bodies and undergo surgical conversion into an army of cyborg warriors called Spaceknights, who would be adapted for the rigors of combat in outer space. Rom, the first of millions to volunteer in response to the public call, was on of a few hundred to be accepted and undergo conversion. He underwent surgery in which his brain was transplanted into an exoskeleton of cybernetic circuitry and armor, onto which his autonomic and central nervous systems were grafted. The rest of Rom’s original body, along with the rest of the original bodies of the Spaceknights, was safely preserved on Galador. The Galadorians intended to restore the Spaceknights to human form once their war with the Dire Wraiths was over.

The Spaceknights were dispatched with rocket pods and offensive weapons especially suited to each Spaceknight’s particular cybernetic strengths. In the major confrontation that ensued, the Spaceknights of Galador destroyed the bulk of the Dire Wraiths’ fleet and the creature Deathwing as well. Rom was singled out for his bravery and declared a Galadorian hero. Large numbers of Wraiths had escaped the battle, however, and Wraith strongholds were believed to exist in other parts of the universe. Rom declared to his fellow Spaceknights and to the Prime Director that the Wraith threat could not be considered ended until the last remaining Dire Wraith had been hunted down and cast into the dimension of limbo. (The Galadorians preferred banishment to limbo rather than death as a fate for the Dire Wraiths).

Rom and the other Spaceknights left Galador to stalk Dire Wraiths throughout the universe, and did so for nearly two hundred Earth years. When a Galadorian probe detected a major concentration of Dire Wraiths on Earth, where shape-changing Wraiths disguised themselves as human beings, Rom volunteered to go to Earth to deal with the Wraith menace alone, lest the presence of the Spaceknight armada unduly alarm the local populace. Mentus, ruler of Galador, agreed to Rom's proposal and dispatched him.

Rom arrived on Earth in recent years, landing in the town of Clairton, West Virginia. He soon gained a number of human friends who volunteered to aid him in his mission to rid Earth of the Dire Wraiths. Among these were Brandy Clark, Steve Jackson, and Brock Jones, who was the costumed adventurer called the Torpedo.

One of the Spaceknights, Terminator, went mad, stole the rest of Rom's body from cryogenic storage, and took over the planet Galador. Terminator was finally killed by the immensely powerful Galactus, and Rom, who had briefly returned to Galador, believed that the rest of his human body had been destroyed, making it apparently impossible for him to return to human form. Rom succeeded in saving Galador from destruction by Galactus, but Galactus used his vast power to move Galador to another location in space. Hence, Rom and his fellow Spaceknights, no longer knew where their home planet was.

Believing themselves defenseless without the Spaceknights, the Galadorians created a new generation of cyborg Spaceknights, who were designed to be more formidable than the originals.

Rom returned to Earth and continued his war against the Dire Wraiths. At first the Wraiths that Rom battled on Earth were males, who utilized advanced technology. But then these science-oriented Wraiths were supplanted on Earth by females who were adept in the mystic arts. These Wraith sorcerers were the dominant faction in Wraith society. Impatient with the slow progress of their scientific brethren, the Wraith sorcerers took control of the Earth infiltration program. The Wraith sorcerers succeeded in destroying most of the population of Clairton, whose people had befriended Rom, including Brock Jones, the Torpedo.

However, Brandy Clark, who had fallen in love with Rom, was not killed by the Wraiths. Seeking to become like Rom, she had been magically united with the Spaceknight armor of the deceased Spaceknight Starshine by the Dire Wraith called Doctor Dredd. As the new Starshine, she became Rom's closest ally in his war against the Wraiths. However, Clark was returned to human form by the creature called Hybrid.

During his stay on Earth, Rom had found many allies among Earth's superhuman champions. Finally, the United States government and military joined Rom in his war against the Wraiths. The Dire Wraiths made their most spectacular move against Earth by mystically altering Earth's sun so that it appeared black (although it still radiated its heat and light). Through this means they brought their home planet, the so-called Wraithworld, through a mystical space warp into Earth's own solar system The Wraiths intended that Wraithworld merge with the Earth, taking Earth's place in space. A large number of Earth's superhuman champions joined Rom in battling the Wraiths as Wraithworld approached. Then, in space, Rom used his neutralizer weapon to power a gigantic neutralizer designed by the Earth scientist who calls himself Forge. Rom turned the power of the gigantic neutralizer against Wraithworld itself, canceling out its mystical energies, and thereby causing Wraithworld to cease to exist. Since the Dire Wraiths throughout the universe drew their mystical energies from Wraithworld, all Wraith sorcerers were no longer able to use magic Rom used his neutralizer to banish all the remaining Wraiths on Earth to limbo. (However, Dire Wraiths still exist elsewhere in the universe). His mission on Earth completed, Rom left Earth to journey in outer space.

Later, the alien Beyonder sent Brandy Clark to Galador. She discovered that the new generation of Spaceknights had taken over the planet and destroyed most of its humanoid population. Thanks to a Shi'ar Stargate, Rom and a number of Spaceknights known as the Spaceknight Squadron also reached Galador. One of the second generation Spaceknights. Heatwave, destroyed the cryogenically preserved bodies of the first and second generation Spaceknights without orders to do so from his leader, Dominor. The second generation Spaceknights killed the remaining humanoid Galadorians

Dominor had hoped that the second generation Spaceknights would return to human form and act as progenitors of a new, stronger Galadorian race. However, Heatwave had destroyed the second-generation Spaceknight's humanoid bodies, making Dominor's plan impossible. But the cryogenically preserved portions of Dominor's own body were still safe, and Dominor now planned to mate with Brandy Clar, so that they would become the parents of the new Galadorian race. Opposed to Dominor's plans, Rom defeated him in battle. The other second generation Spaceknights tried to use their power to form a "ring of power" that would destroy Rom and Galador itself. However, Dominor, in order to prevent the other second generation Spaceknights from turning against him, had arranged it so that the formation of the "ring of power" would destroy the second generation Spaceknights using it. Hence, Heatwave and the Spaceknights joining him in the "ring" destroyed themselves. But the Dark Tower in which Dominor's humanoid body was kept was also destroyed in the process in despair, Dominor used Rom's neutralizer to commit suicide.

The rest of the first generation Spaceknights found Rom on Galador, and Clark found the cryogenically preserved portions of Rom's body within an ancient crypt: they had not been destroyed after all. Rom returned to human form, and now he and Brandy Clark live happily together on Galador, protected by the first generation Spaceknights, and intend to become the progenitors of the new Galadorian race themselves.

HEIGHT: (as humanoid) 6 ft. 1 in., (as cyborg) 7 ft.
WEIGHT: (as humanoid) 250 lbs., (as cyborg) 850 lbs.
EYES: Blue (as cyborg had red visual sensors)
HAIR: Black

STRENGTH LEVEL: In humanoid form Rom possesses the normal strength that an Earthman of his physical age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise would have. In cyborg form Rom had super humanoid strength and could lift (press) 15 tons.

SUPERHUMAN POWERS: None

FORMER SUPERHUMAN POWERS: In cyborg form Rom possessed superhuman strength, the ability to fly, the ability to survive indefinitely in outer space, and invulnerability to injury by conventional means. All of his powers derived from his heavily armored cybernetic exoskeleton. Rom’s central and autonomic nervous system were “genetically grafted” into a computerized cybernetic exoskeleton. His brain was augmented by organic computer assemblies and kept alive in a bloodlike fluid that still had to be circulated through his body’s vital organs to be provided with essential enzymes and vitamins with trace elements. Certain components of the “blood’s” plasma-like fluid were added to by automatic machinery that required occasional replenishment, and eliminated the need for breathing. Although Rom did not sleep as a cyborg, he occasionally self-induced a “shutdown” of all his major systems in order to give himself time to rest and dream.

Large power requirements, such as movement and the picking up of object, made use of meson/anti-meson thermo-electric battery, which could operate under normal conditions for five Earth centuries. Rom occasionally needed to charge up the anti-meson gun device and did so at time by absorbing current through such simple Earthly energy sources as a light socket. Rom’s Galadorian technology provided him with electrically maintained flexible metallic armor, which included fluid “motors” that gave him strength.

Rom was equipped with rocket pods mounted in twin nacelles on his back. The pods were electrically powered, low-density plasma engines with sufficient velocity to achieve solar system escape velocity (36 mile per second, out of atmosphere). Rom could fly through atmosphere at a maximum speed of Mach 4 (about 3000 miles per hour) before heat buildup from friction caused detrimental effects to his external sensor arrays. Cool atmospheric re-entry was achieved through rocket-assisted deceleration. Rom contained internal sensing devices that allowed him to locate space warps (topological folds in the space/time continuum that permit “shortcuts” across vast interstellar distances).

Rom’s armor was capable of withstanding temperatures from 8000 degrees Fahrenheit to –350 degrees Fahrenheit, and was a hermetically sealed, vacuum tight, seamless shell (including articulation). His armor was capable of withstanding ballistic impacts of up to large antitank weaponry, and overpressures of up to 40 pounds per square inch (the equivalent of the blast effects of 1000 pounds of TNT at the range of 100 feet) with out damage or impairment of functions. Rom’s natural organs with in his armor were augmented by automated micro-functioning circuitry. Rom’s cyborg form was designed with numerous site of redundancy programming so that his body could not lose his various abilities through damage or malfuntion.

WEAPONS: As a Spaceknight, Rom made use of two weapons.

The first, his Energy Analyzer, was his primary means of identifying the presences of the shape-shifting Dire Wraiths. When Rom suspected these aliens were in his vicinity, he withdrew the Analyzer from its pocket in hyperspace and scanned the suspected Wraiths.

The Energy Analyzer emits a beam of ultra high frequency waves that enable it to detect the molecular structure of any object it is focused upon. To detect Dire Wraiths, the Analyzer stimulates certain rare earth elements found within the alien's body and causes those elements to emit radio frequencies visible to Rom's visor sensors. Thus, with the use of the Analyzer, Rom could recognize any Wraith no matter what form they had taken.

The Analyzer can also scan and analyze the energy fields of non-Wraiths, such as superhuman mutant Earth human beings. By electronic impulses, the Analyzer informed Rom of the individual's power potential of the subject it was scanning. Rom also used the Analyzer to trace the energy trails of certain powerful beings, such as his fellow Spaceknight Starshine.

The Analyzer has no offensive powers; it is a device of detection only. However, the scanning process, which bathes the subject in an eerie red energy field, has been known to unnerve certain beings.

Rom's chief offensive weapon was his Neutralizer, the most powerful device ever developed on the planet of Galador. The Neutralizer's main function is to neutralize any type of energy field that it encounters. The Neutralizer was developed as a means of defeating the alien Dire Wraiths with out actually killing them. When focused upon a Wraith, the Neutralizer emits a ray of such intense power that it neutralizes all energy about the alien. Such a disruption in the energy field causes a transtemporal rift to open up between our dimension and the realm called limbo. The Wraith is then sucked through the portal into limbo. The energy needed to neutralizer a Wraith is not the maximum energy level attainable. At extreme power the Neutralizer will kill a Wraith by disrupting all of its vital functions. Rom was traditionally reluctant to use this setting.

Rom had only to think of the power level he desired, and cybernetic impulse in his armor recalibrated the weapon. At low setting the Neutralizer is capable of neutralizing the life threatening effects of radiation poisoning. However, at a more powerful setting, the Neutralizer will easily negate the life force of a living being, killing him. Rom has never used the Neutralizer to kill a human being. A human being cannot be transported to limbo because his physiology would not survive the neutralization effect.

Because of its enormous potential for destruction, the Neutralizer is equipped with several safety devices to insure that none save Rome will ever utilizer its power. The Neutralizer would automatically destroy any device used to activate the Neutralizer without Rom's thought patterns. (However, the Spaceknight Dominor somehow used the Neutralizer to destroy himself.)

Rom kept his Analyzer and Neutralizer in a pocket in sub-space (hyperspace) from which he could retrieve it using his dimensional hole generator.

PARAPHERNALIA: Rom's universal Translator device enabled him to communicate with any sentient being, no matter what its spoken language, with in a matter of seconds. The Translator is a highly complex Galadorian computer which was originally programmed with the linguistics of all languages known to Galadorian scientists. Utilizing an intricate program of universal concepts and their verbal equivalents, the Translator analyzes linguistic fragments of the hitherto unknown language and extrapolates the structure of that language for Rom to understand. Once translated, the new language was transmitted to and stored within Rom's memory banks (when he was in cyborg form). Rom's voice was the translated into the new language. The analysis process takes about thirty seconds. The Translator, like Rom's Analyzer and Neutralizer, is stored in a "fold" in hyperspace.

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