Ask 100 people what Rom is. Chances are 60 will have no clue, 39 will quickly say "read-only memory," and then one extremely nerdy person will excitedly scream "Spaceknight!"
Rom was a failed attempt between Parker Bros. and Marvel Comics to create a comic-toyline tie-in, before cartoon-toy hybrids dominated the '80s. Parker Bros. released the first Rom action figure in 1979, which was followed quickly by Marvel's Rom: Spaceknight comic. The toyline folded pretty quickly, but Marvel's comic continued for seven years (which, since Rom was set in the official Marvel universe, added a host of weird planets, aliens and other assorted elements that are still around today).
The Rom rights reverted back to Parker Bros. in the '80s, but there are two signs that Rom's on his way back: Hasbro (owner of Parker Bros.) filed a trademark for Rom on November 8th, and, at least as interestingly, Rom makes a small cameo in one of the "Age of Ultron" preview pages Comic Book Resources posted yesterday.
Neither of these things mean anything definitively, but remember, 1) Marvel promised that "Age of Ultron" would have an ending that was mind-blowingly insane, and bringing back the most cultish of cult favorite '80s comic characters would qualify, in my opinion, and 2) now that Marvel and Hasbro are peas in a mass-merchandising pod, it's not hard to imagine a bit of continued cooperation between the two. I doubt we'll get a new Rom toyline, but it would be awesome to see him show up as a Marvel Legends or Marvel Universe action figure. And if the two are going that far, why not let Rom make a small cameo in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie? One out of 100 people agree that would be totally awesome.
[Via Comics Alliance]