16. Rom the Spaceknight
First appearance: Rom #1 (1979)
First conceived as a toy by Parker Brothers, Rom is the purest example of corporate marketing forcing its way into comics. Rom wasn’t the creation of a talented writer, artist, or editor; it was simply the product of committee thinking by a toy company that needed a comic book in order to get fans excited about its product. Though the character has gained a strange cult following in recent years, the original Rom stories were nothing more than a toy commercial put onto the page.
It's similar to the strategy employed with the Transformers series back in the ‘80s, but Rom didn’t catch on to the degree that those did. Basically Rom is nothing more than a lame cyborg with some nifty bells and whistles that attempted to make the toy itself more exciting. Any Rom movie would no doubt be a Transformers clone, and we think you’ll agree that the world doesn’t need any more of those.