Issue(s): ROM #25
Terminator has imprisoned Galador's Prime Director and a number of other Spaceknights as well.
Terminator is really a thrall of Mentus, and we learn in this issue that Mentus is actually the dark side of the Prime Director.
The Director was experimenting with a new way to control the Spaceknight armor without having to turn his people into cyborgs, so he tried projecting his spirit into a suit of armor, but it turns out only his bad thoughts got sent and hence Mentus was born.
ROM manages to escape and free the other Spaceknights...
...and convince Terminator to break free of Mentus' control. Together the Spaceknights defeat the contingent of Dire Wraiths that Mentus was working with.
Meanwhile ,the Prime Director defeats Mentus, but in the process, his physical body dies and he becomes a floating spirit. He tells the Knights that he senses a deadly danger approaching.
Back on Earth, Brandy and Steve are dealing with a strange mist that is mind-controlling the people of Clairton. The town super-hero, Torpedo, is also affected.
There's also a second story in this double-sized issue by Steven Grant and Greg LaRocque. It's just about the only writing credit on the ROM book not by Bill Mantlo ("just about" because Mark Gruenwald got a co-writing credit for issue #24).
And it's a fairly generic story that shows a Dire Wraith falling in love with a human woman; similar ground was already covered in ROM #17.
As for the main story, it's cool to see some other Spaceknights outside of the back-ups. I particularly enjoy the goofy Starshine.
I also find the angel guards and their Horn of Heaven amusingly silly.
But having already seen the set-up for this in early stories, this is about as by-the-numbers a resolution as it could be. And there's almost no payoff to ROM's long quest to return to his homeworld. A lot of unanswered questions. The Prime Director, shown in the back-ups that took place 200 years ago, is still alive. Does that mean all Galadorians are long-lived? Or something special about the Director? ROM doesn't really have anyone to interact with for his homecoming. Ray-Na, his old love interest, is long dead and forgotten. There's really just nothing here; ROM could be landing on any random planet that happened to have some captured Spaceknights. Nothing in the next two issues, which also feature Galador, will go any further with this, either.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: I'm allowing a little time to pass between ROM's transfer from Xandar at the end of last issue to his arrival at Galador at the beginning of this issue. The narration caption says that the beam travels "in the twinkling of a thought" but i know from personal experience that thoughts can twinkle quite slowly at times. I'm also allowing for time to pass on Galador between the end of this issue and the beginning of next; despite the warning from the Prime Director, it's not a direct continuation. I'm treating the Grant/LaRocque story as a flashback, which is to say that i'm ignoring it for placement purposes, but the MCP places it between ROM #20-21, after ROM returns to Clairton but before the arrival of the Torpedo.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showDanny Jones, Hammerhand, Javelin, Lorry Jones, Mentus, Nell Jones, Rainbow (Spaceknight), ROM, Starshine, Starshine II, Steve Jackson, Tammy Anne Jones, Terminator, Torpedo
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