Issue(s): ROM #20
Meanwhile, the Most High One is berating his Dire Wraiths. The witches have come up with a "Murder Mole" which, as the Most High One points out, is ridiculous.
Most High is then contacted by a new villain wearing Galadorian armor, named Mentus.
He is trying to bait ROM into leaving the planet and going back to Galador. He was behind the vision of a ruined Galador that ROM saw last issue. And he transforms two Wraith witches into images of the Galadorian knights, Starshine and Terminator to go taunt him about abandoning Galador. Seeing Terminator is especially surprising to ROM since (as we learn in the back-up Tales of the Spaceknights for this issue), he was thought to have been voluntarily executed for killing non-Wraiths (and he was actually rescued and then mind-controlled by Mentus).
ROM soon realizes that the Spaceknights are just Wraiths...
...but he kind of densely still puts their attack in the "pro" column for leaving Earth. The fact that the Wraiths are trying pretty hard to convince ROM to leave Earth doesn't seem suspicious to him.
A big hurdle in going back to Galador is that even traveling at lightspeed, it took ROM 200 years to reach Earth. And i guess he didn't stop on other planets to fight Dire Wraiths along the way. Steve Jackson points out that Earth has encountered other alien races that have mastered faster-than-light travel, and so groups like the Fantastic Four and the Avengers have it too.
Note that Brandy thinks reports about the aliens are just invented by the media. I wonder if she thinks that's true of just the aliens, or does she not really believe that the FF and Avengers exist, either. It's occasionally hinted that people outside the New York area think reports about super-heroes are exaggerated.
It's also worth noting that ROM is kind of like Vance Astrovik here. He flew for 200 years to arrive somewhere where they already have faster-than-light travel. ROM is even aware of the Kree and the Skrulls, which really has me wondering about intergalactic trade, now. Is faster-than-light a closely guarded secret that those races wouldn't trade for Spaceknight tech? Or vice versa? Or did it not exist 200 years ago (we know the Kree had been to Earth prior to that, but maybe via more traditional and slower methods)?
I believe this is the last appearance of the Most High One, and we never got to see his face.
It's unclear what happens to him. It will be a while before the female Dire Wraiths take over the operation on Earth. I see a similarity between Most High and Doctor Dredd, the male Wraith sorcerer who eventually turns Brandy Clark into Starshine II, but i don't think there's ever any clear confirmation about what the Most High One was or why he goes away.
In the back-up, in addition to the stuff about Terminator and Mentus, we also learn that ROM's name means "Before all others". I thought it meant Read Only Memory.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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