Rom had come to earth sixty-four issues prior to combat the otherworldly threat of the Dire Wraiths ("Dire" always prefaced their names. It's like if I called myself "Awesome Jon." If I did, I would modify "Awesome God" to suit my needs so as to have the best theme song ever), and this issue marked the, well, FINAL CONFLICT.
We open on Rom trapped in a mystical forcefield. Seems the Dire Wraiths have pulled their planet into orbit around the sun so as to kill the earth and take its place in the solar system. It's all very dramatic and we're treated to no less than three pages of Rom thinking to himself before we see anyone else.
The "anyone else" in question would be Forge and Henry Gyrich. In space. Together. Riding a giant gun. Forge was contracted to build the out-in-space version of an ant-murdering magnifying glass to be powered by Rom's crazy anti-Wraith pistol. Rom, being trapped in the aforementioned forcefield, obviously can't make it to Forge's big space gun. And so we have THE DRAMA.
The Wraiths show up and taunt Rom for a while, but don't, you know, kill him.
This is made more irritating by the fact that the Wraiths talk like they're at a ren faire. For example:
"Come, Wraith sisters! Come, ye Hellhounds and hissing Deathwings all! Come from every corner of this pathetic planet-- to witness the humbling and humiliation of our arch-foe, ROM-- GREATEST OF THE SPACEKNIGHTS!"
Now, I bet you only skimmed that, but Rom? Rom couldn't move. He had to listen. The Wraiths are bastards.
Anyway, just when the Wraiths have Rom right where they want him, their revelry is interrupted. Interrupted by every freaking superhero on earth (except Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. And Thor, but Beta Ray Bill's there, and he has cooler boots, so I won't complain). Don't believe me? Look:
God, Namor's in the back, there. The next four pages show us everyone whose come to Rom's aid, from the Dynamic Defenders to the Uncanny X-Men, and some unbelievably crappy groups in between.
We get Steve Ditko taking stabs at drawing Starfox, Rogue (Rogue looks like she's wearing a helmet made of hair and, boy, did her old costume suck), Wonder Man (this is during his I Am Dressed for Safari era), Nightcrawler and Wolverine (Steve Ditko cannot draw Wolverine. I know he deals in absolutes, so I'm phrasing it that way). Shamrock, Le Peregrine, and Captain Britain in his original outfit pop up. And also these guys:The Sensational Soviet Super-Soldiers! Darkstar! Some loser with a hammer and sickle! A midget with a giant head! A bear! That's why they lost the Cold War, people. We got Captain America, they got a midget with a big head. It's a wonder they never launched a nuke at Black Widow for defecting.
At any rate, the collected heroes beat the crap out of the Wraiths for a couple pages, Rom's beloved, Brandy Clark, kisses him free of his magic prison (much like Onimar Synn, Wraith magic cowers in the face of love), and the earth is saved by Rom and Forge.
And then Rom wanders the universe for ten more issues (and that annual I talked about the other day) searching for his planet (Galactus had hidden it, you see. Because Galactus is a bit of a prick) before finally having his humanity restored in issue 75. There's at least one Bill Sienkiewicz cover in there, by the way.
Also, our Jon is an awesome Jon he reigns from heaven above with wisdom and power and love our Jon is an awesome Jon.
There. I feel better.