Thursday, October 22, 2009


The alien race native to the Fourth Galaxy were a warlike race that eventually became scientifically proficient, and set out to conquer other planets. Choosing Earth as their next target, they sent Rommbu to demand a total surrender.
(Tales to Astonish I#19) - Rommbu arrived on Earth, his spacecraft landing in the path of a moving train. When the train stopped, convicted criminal John Hunter made his escape. Rommbu emerged from his ship, and demanded the surrender of Earth to his race. He demonstrated his powers by using a ray gun to shrink two men to only twelve inches tall. Meanwhile, Hunter had made his way onto Rommbu's ship unnoticed. Rommbu then returned to his craft, and began to circle the Earth, awaiting the arrival of his armada. There, he realized there was a human on board, and captured Hunter. He used a mind-probing device to read the man's mind, and discovered him to be a criminal. Believing Hunter's disregard for his fellow humans would be an asset, Rommbu recruited him to help find a safe place to land the ship to recharge its electromagnetic batteries. Hunter, a former geologist, suggested the volcanic island of Watuna. Rommbu didn't realize that Hunter had tricked him, and had timed their arrival on the island to coincide with the volcano's eruption. As the volcano blew up, Rommbu desperately tried to escape in his ship, but the cataclysm apparently destroyed both him and John Hunter.
This story is about a geologist, John Hunter, who turned to crime and was sentenced to life in prison. On his way to jail, his train was stopped by a UFO. He escapes and hides aboard the ship as the alien, Rommbu, talks with the people.

The people greet Rommbu in peace, but he announces he’s from a warlike planet and an invasion is on the way. Now, as an aside, humanity in these stories demonstrates the worst judgment in the world. Every time there’s a peaceful alien, they assume it’s warlike, every time it’s warlike they greet it in peace. What up with that? (NOTE FROM EROS: If I might just interject here for a moment, I think it might have something to do with... I dunno, maybe their STUPID MINDS! STUPID! STUPID!)

Anyway, Rommbu takes off to wait for humanity’s reply, and finds his stowaway. Determining that the man was indeed a criminal, he decides to trust Hunter as willing to betray humanity and demands a safe place to land so he can recharge his ship. Hunter leads him to a dormant volcano, which conveniently he knew from his geological past was about to erupt. Humanity is spared, and Hunter’s brother realizes that he must have sacrificed his life. A fun variation on a classic theme, and Rommbu’s a great looking monster. The cover is a Kirby/Ayers piece from TALES TO ASTONISH #19, slightly modified with some new bits added among the fleeing crowds, shooting cops and background buildings.

History: Sent to Earth as an advance war-scout, Rommbu threatened the conquest of the planet and the destruction of mankind; he demonstrated the power of his weapons. When Rommbu needed to land his ship to recharge the batteries, he was tricked by his human captive into landing in an active volcano. The volcano erupted, presumably destroying Rommbu and his ship.

Rommbu was later seen among a group of monsters being held in the Collector's subterranean museum beneath the surface of Canada. The monsters escaped captivity during the Collector's battle with the Mole Man, and some of the monsters (including Rommbu) attacked New York City, but were fought off by an alliance of the Thing, the Hulk, Giant-Man, and the Beast. The defeated monsters were later dispatched into the Negative Zone.

Height: 15 ft.
Demonstrated Powers: Although it can be assumed by Rommbu's size that he had great strength, he demonstrated no feats of strength to guage a strength level. Rommbu demonstrated no other special powers.


  • Shrink ray pistol
  • Mind prober machine
  • Flying saucer with the following weapons:
    Metal disintegrating rays that destroyed attacking aircraft
    Anti-missle missles
    A “magnetico” - used to lift a submarine out of the water

Comment: Rommbu looks similar to the alien Gormuu (introduced in Fantastic Four # 271); possibly they are both from the same race? Gormuu's planet of origin was Kraalo.

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