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1985-10-01 01:02:10
Micronauts: The New Voyages #13-14
1985/Box 21/EiC: Jim Shooter
New Mutants #32-34

ROM annual #4

Issue(s): ROM annual #4
Published Date: 1985
Title: "Blows against the empire!"
Bill Mantlo - Writer
Steve Ditko - Penciler
Al Milgrom - Inker
Mike Carlin - Editor

A crazed, confused Spacknight called Pulsar attacks a Shi'ar Dreadnought before succumbing to mortal wounds sustained in an earlier fight. The ship's scientist, a cat-man named Dr. Tyreseus, is secretly disloyal to the Empire, so when he gets the opportunity, he fuses himself to the Spaceknight armor (presumably after scooping out the remains of its original owner).

He then heads off on a destructive rampage.

If i told you that it was right about now that ROM and his crew wandered into Shi'ar territory, you wouldn't be surprised, right?

This puts them face to face with the Shi'ar Imperial Guard.

ROM's armor is in rough shape. It was damaged first by Ego the Living Planet and the Rakk the Breaker's microwaves.

I won't call it a Misunderstanding Fight, since the Imperial Guard, working for Deathbird at this point, aren't exactly on the side of angels anyway.

ROM managing to hold his own against Gladiator is a bit surprising, but Gladiator was a bit conflicted about the fight so he may have been holding back.

ROM and Gladiator do eventually calm things down and everybody teams up to find the new Pulsar; actually, he's calling himself Liberator.

An effort is made to show that Tyreseus has a legitimate complaint against the Shi'ar, but it's kind of undermined when we hear his people's history. They were a simple people, who enjoyed nothing more than beating the crap out of each other with sticks and rocks.

Then the Shi'ar came and civilized then, and despite Tyreseus's efforts, they'd like to stay that way, please. It's a bit of a "What have the Romans ever done for us" moment.

Anyway, Gladiator goes a bit roid-rage in the final battle with Tyreseus...

...but ROM is able to talk him down, and he even opens a Stargate to return the Spaceknights to Galador.

Ditko inked by Milgrom has none of the charm of Ditko inked by P. Craig Russell or Kim DeMulder, and this issue is full of the usual Mantlo histrionics, but it's decent enough and at least tries to raise some questions about government and loyalty.

Quality Rating: C

Historical Significance Rating: 1

Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after he Spaceknight crew pick up Vola the Trapper in ROM #71. ROM #72 doesn't feature any Spaceknights, and then ROM #73 shows ROM and company teleporting in from this issue's Stargate.


  • The original Pulsar was mortally wounded before the Wraithwar ended in ROM #65.
  • Unam and Rakk were re-introduced and died ROM #70-71 (the footnote incorrectly says #69 and #70).
  • Galactus hid Galador in ROM #27.
  • No footnote, but ROM's armor was first damaged by Ego in ROM #69.
  • When the Spaceknights encounter the new Pulsar, ROM speculates correctly that it might not be the original. A footnote reminds us that there have been at least three prior "displacements" - Firefall, shown in ROM #4, Starshine in ROM #40, and ROM himself in ROM #25.

Cross-over: N/A

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: N/A

Inbound References (1): show

Characters Appearing: Deathbird, Electron, Gladiator (Shiar), Magic, Manta, Mentor (Shiar), Oracle, Pulsar, ROM, Scanner, Seeker, Tempest, Trapper, Warstar

Micronauts: The New Voyages #13-14
1985/Box 21/EiC: Jim Shooter
New Mutants #32-34


The title is another reference to the Jefferson Starship album. Come to think of it, "Firefall" was the name of another 1970s rock band...

Hi, love this site, but pretty sure the spaceknight was called Pulsar, not Firefall, who was a different character.

Thanks, Damiano. I had the two mixed up due to that footnote about displacements. Corrected it.

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