main image

ROMAN NEKOBOH

Real Name: Roman Nekoboh

Identity/Class: Human, citizen of the United States

Occupation: Manager, former movie star, singer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Eric Beale, Benson, Nick Brown, Dazzler (Alison Blaire), Harvey "Hack" Hathaway, Marie, Perskie, Ziggy

Enemies: Robert Benson

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Roman baby" (nickname used by himself), "Ro" (nickname used by Robert Benson), "Blue eyes", "Chairman" (nicknames used by friends)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed,
                                  formerly his Beverly Hills mansion

First Appearance: Dazzler I#29 (November, 1983)

Powers/Abilities: Roman Nekoboh possesses no known superhuman abilities. A talented actor, gifted singer and born showman, he has amassed great fame and financial wealth over his decades long career, though his lavish and irresponsible have left him in perpetual debt. Sly and devious when it comes to securing his own success, Nekoboh will go to great lengths to get what he wants. To hide his aged appearance, Nekoboh relies on a truss, a toupee, contact lenses and lifts in his shoes to appear taller. Nekoboh is a heavy smoker and a drinker.

Height: 5'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 180 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black (Roman wears a hairpiece)

History:

(Dazzler I#29 (fb) - BTS) - Roman Nekoboh grew up in Corona, Queens. His parents lived over the deli they owned, eking out a meager existence. As a child, Nekoboh vowed to become so rich and famous he could simply walk into a dealership, pick out a car and drive off with it. Thanks to his talents as a singer and an actor, he made a career for himself in Hollywood with roles in swashbuckler movies as well as embarking on a lucrative singing career that lasted several decades. He became the idol of generations, marrying and divorcing several women while enjoying the lavish lifestyle customary to the Hollywood elite. As he aged, Nekoboh relied on trusses, wigs, fake teeth, contacts and insoles to appear young, strapping and vital.

(Dazzler I#29 - BTS) - Roman was contacted by his agent Nick Brown who wanted him to meet with the upcoming singing sensation Alison Blaire (Brown was actually the father of Blaire's half-sister Lois London). Nekoboh agreed to meet with Blaire, feeling the attractive, blonde singer would be the way to revitalize his career.

(Dazzler I#29) - On the morning of his meeting with Alison Blaire, Nekoboh was woken around noon by his butler who informed him his business manager Benson was there to see him. Getting out of bed and heading for the shower, Roman put on his corset and dentures, glued on the wig and reached for his contacts and insoles to make him appear as young and vibrant as possible. Dressed impeccably, he darted downstairs and met with Benson who informed him of his dire financial straits. Roman laughed at the man's concerns for his current financial situation but Benson persisted: between alimony payments, his exuberant lifestyle (his butler Ziggy lit his cigarettes) and his recent string of commercial flops, Nekoboh was in dire need of a hit. Roman assured Benson he was about to hit the big time with Alison Blaire. Later that day, flanked by his bodyguards and greeted by fans who cheered him on in the streets, Roman Nekoboh met with the starstruck Alison Blaire at LA's CCA records. It didn't take long for Roman to spirit Alison away, leading her down a back alley to Carson's automobile dealership where he simply bought a car by revealing who he was. With a suitably impressed Alison Blaire sitting next to him, Nekoboh headed for a private airstrip where Harvey "Hack" Hathaway was waiting for them aboard Roman's private Learjet. Ordering Hack to take off and circle the desert while he and Alison talked, Nekoboh proceeded to schmooze Blaire into doing a picture with him. Not too long after that, they were suddenly attacked by US airforce fighter jets belonging to an anti-mutant division of the army. Hack was hit, leaving the plane without a pilot. The sudden turbulence knocked out Nekoboh, leaving Alison free to use her mutant light powers to shoot the attacking craft out of the sky. She then realized there was no one left to fly the out of control plane.

(Dazzler I#30) - Scared out of her mind, Alison managed to rouse the groggy, inebriated Nekoboh enough for him to tell her the plane carried only two emergency parachutes. It used to have six, but he needed the extra space to expand the bar. Ali strapped a chute on him and threw Nekoboh out of the plane, hoping Roman would pull the cord in time.

(Dazzler I#30 - BTS) - Nekoboh managed to land safely nearby Admiral Hospital where he was quickly rushed into the emergency room. When it became clear he wasn't seriously injured, Roman turned the incident into a public relations spectacle and gleefully held court, meeting with the staff, signing autographs and fielding congratulatory phone calls from his famous friends.

(Dazzler I#30) - Roman happily greeted Alison Blaire when she reached Admiral hospital's emergency room while looking for him. Signing some more autographs, he told Alison he was still too tied up with the press and his fans, suggesting she went home. The police men, after Roman gave them his signature, delivered Blaire to Nick Brown's house.

(Dazzler I#33 - BTS) - Roman talked his way into becoming Alison's manager.

(Dazzler I#33) - Roman called Alison to see if she wanted to accompany him to an exclusive Beverly Hills party, attended by movers, shakers and moguls. She happily agreed to go with him, but the evening went sour when Blaire realized he watched her like a hawk and only wanted her to pay attention to him. She did catch the eye of movie director Robert Benson. Nekoboh tried to warn Alison about Benson's reputation for being careless on set, even risking the lives of the people he worked with. Their discussion was interrupted when Benson's car suddenly exploded, though Bob himself somehow miraculously escaped unharmed. Nekoboh and Alison offered to take Benson to the hospital, but he asked to be taken home instead.

(Dazzler I#33 - BTS) - Despite Roman's warnings, Alison agreed to appear in Benson's latest project: the music video for Teddy Lindgard's smash hit song Chiller. On the set, she soon discovered Benson was deliberately setting up (near) fatal accidents to drum up PR. She forced him to admit his crimes and, with help from Lindgard, got him arrested.

(Dazzler I#34) - Roman caught up with Alison, who had been actively trying to avoid him after sensing he wanted more from her than simply a professional relationship. He tried to invite her along for a quick trip to Malibu in his "spanking new imported chariot", feigning mock outrage when she insisted on calling him "Mr. Nekoboh" instead of "Roman". Refusing to take no for an answer, he followed her back to her apartment but Alison wasn't having any of his usual patter. Before she forced him out, he spotted a letter she's received from Millie's Models. Days later, after Alison had narrowly survived a brief stint as a model in which she was targeted by Revenge Inc, Nekoboh showed up outside Millie's agency. Blaire explained to him why she didn't think he was suitable as her manager, but Nekoboh insisted she got him all wrong. Driving off, he assured "toots" that he would return.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12 - BTS) - Still plagued by financial woes, Nekoboh decided to force Alison Blaire into becoming the star of his next movie. He set up an early morning press conference at his Beverly Hills mansion.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12) - Roman was woken up at 7.00 by his butler Ziggy, who watched Nekoboh's ladyfriend of the evening leave. Hung over, tired and already smoking, Roman asked "Zig" for a little pick-me-up, which the butler happily provided. Feeling he was getting out of shape, Roman then ordered Ziggy to do some calisthenics in his stead. As he went through his usual morning routine of putting on the wig, popping in his contacts, dentures and securing his truss, he explained to the still exercising butler that today was the day he was finally "getting some action" from Alison Blaire after she turned him down. With that, the reporters arrived.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12 - BTS) - During the press conference, Roman alluded to the fact he and Alison Blaire were not only romantically involved, they were also going to co-star in his new movie. The press lapped it up and mobbed Blaire later that day when she was performing at a local club. She headed home to escape the throng of reporters, unaware Nekoboh was waiting around for her so he could make his move.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12) - Roman wasted no time putting the moves on Alison, ignoring her personal wishes and soon forcing himself onto her. She fought back, wrecking much of her modest apartment before forcing the aging star out. Hurt and humiliated, Nekoboh assured Blaire her career was dead, before slamming the door behind him. The next day, Roman followed Alison who was walking along the LA sidewalk, attempting to make conversation with her from his car. Fed up, Ali ran off into a sidestreet Roman couldn't easily follow her into. When he did, she used a subtle light blast to blow one of his tires. Now forced to chase her on foot, Nekoboh faked a heart attack to get Blaire close enough to make his pitch. Though she was furious at him, Blaire agreed to accompany him to a coffee shop so he could speak his piece. After taking her to a swanky bar, Roman told Alison the truth: he admired her talent and was in dire need of a hit to get back on his feet financially. He figured a movie with a bright, hot star like her would be just the ticket. Alison bought his line and for the next several days, she allowed Nekoboh to treat her to the lap of luxury: fancy dinners, exclusive shopping sessions in which Roman bought all the dresses, as well as an expensive but fancy apartment overlooking the valley. He also took her to dinner to an exorbitantly expensive restaurant. To her surprise, Roman assured her they'd be in all the scandal sheets tomorrow. Resigning to this fact, she played along for the photographers as they were headed back their limo. There, their pretend romance soon blossomed into an actual encounter which Nekoboh milked for all the publicity it offered.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12 - BTS) - Despite the added PR buzz, Nekoboh didn't secure any backers for his proposed picture. He was contacted by Eric Beale, a powerful producer who had grown obsessed with Alison ever since she turned him down at the local LA gym she was teaching at. He offered to bankroll the flick, taking care of most of Nekoboh's outstanding debts. Unbeknownst to Nekoboh, the vengeful Beale suspected Alison was a mutant and planned to out her in order to destroy her career.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12) - Deciding to hide the bad news from Blaire, Roman visited Alison at her plush new home. He was so moved by her excitement about making a movie and the sincere love she expressed towards him that he made the decision to accept Beale's offer to back the movie. Later that night, he revealed the news to Alison when she arrived at Nekoboh mansion to find Roman, Ziggy and some of their friends celebrating the good news. Overjoyed, Ali and Roman shared a passionate kiss and spent most of the evening together. At the end of the night, Ali struggled to tell Roman she was secretly a mutant only for Nekoboh to reveal he'd been aware her light shows were no gimmick. Assuring her he found her magnificent, Roman calmed Blaire down by telling her he wanted to make love to her. They kissed and then he took her to his bedroom.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12 - BTS) - After their passionate night together, Roman made sure he woke up well before Alison so she wouldn't see him without his many cosmetic enhancements.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12) - Roman and Ali were having breakfast that morning when Ziggy brought the papers that carried the story about their upcoming movie. She was shocked to find Eric Beale was the backer, telling Roman what a demanding and forceful creep he was. Nekoboh assured her he'd be in total control but then left in a hurry when a telegram sent by Beale was delivered, summoning him.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12 - BTS) - Beale and Nekoboh secretly decided that the movie should be about a young mutant's struggle in the world. The plan was to reveal Alison Blaire was a mutant, which Nekoboh believed was good for publicity reasons, plus it would help put mutants in a positive light. They arranged for a big reveal, including a demonstration of her powers. Beale agreed to set things up but knew better, correctly expecting mob violence.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12) - In the weeks that followed, Roman treated Ali to the lavish, over the top and decadent lifestyle he was used to. Drinking and smoking their way around the globe, the world's new jet set couple returned to Nekoboh mansion to find the press had picked up on the fact Alison was a mutant. Furious at Roman for giving away her secret, he went on to tell her his plans to make her a legend, the mutant Jackie Robinson. Alison reluctantly agreed and even went along with Nekoboh's plans for the demonstration. The next day, Roman introduced Ali to the press at the greater Los Angeles airport. To show off her powers to the media, he wanted Alison to absorbed the noise generated by six airliners. When the planes started their engines, the sound was so massive it hurt the audience which forced Alison to absorb it all into herself, which pushed her powers to new limits. Lighting up like a torch, with a stunned Nekoboh watching, she drowned out the crowd and the planes, turning the world itself on mute. Afterwards, the reporters rushed off scared out of their wits. Nekoboh was complimented by Beale on a job well done, though he was nowhere near as happy. Later that night, Roman and Alison went to a chic nightspot, but before they got in an anti-mutant mob tried to stone them. Blaire used her lightpowers to melt the bricks and they hurried to the Nekoboh limo. Riding home, a furious Alison told Roman she was now more dedicated than ever to make this movie to prove to the world mutants were not a threat and forced him to relinquish creative control over to her. He reluctantly agreed, even as they made out in the backseat. Stunned by his lover's newfound ferocious attitude, Ali went on to say she was going to have her way with him. Calling Nekoboh "her little pretty", she assured him that if he failed to please her, she was going to use her "nasty little mutant powers to incinerate all his best toupees."

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12) - In the weeks that followed, Nekoboh grudgingly took a backseat to Blaire, focusing on his golf game and day drinking while she worked on the script for their movie. She wanted it to be a true portrayal of the lives of mutants, a film classic that got it right. Roman simply stated he didn't mind a crummy movie as long as it raked it in at the box office. He also advised her to leave the sex in.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12 - BTS) - During the shooting, Roman kept to himself and was content in letting Alison star. Using her light powers, she could do all her own stunts and stunned the crew. At the same time, protests against the movie and Roman grew daily. Stores were plundered because they sold Nekoboh records and there were Roman dolls burned in effigy. All this greatly worried the man who'd come to rely on his adoring public.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12) - Roman and Alison were invited to a private screening of Dazzler: the movie at Beale Studios. They were so engrossed and excited about the final product that Roman was about to tell her he loved her for the first time. However, before he could get the words out angry anti-mutant protesters broke into the cinema, ready to kill them. Using her light powers, Blaire was able to fight them off, but the experience left Nekoboh rattled.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12 - BTS) - In a desperate attempt to salvage his career following the incident and ongoing riots, Nekoboh quickly agreed to sign with Eric Beale who thereby secured Roman's confidentiality. Eric then ordered him to take an extended vacation followed by a worldwide tour until the controversy died down. Roman reluctantly agreed.

(Marvel Graphic Novel I#12) - Days later and unable to live with himself, Nekoboh raced back to Beale's offices to tear up the contract. When he drove up, he spotted Alison who'd just come out of a meeting with Beale (during which she destroyed both the contract and the mastercopy of the Dazzler movie). The two reunited later that night at Nekoboh mansion with Roman assuring Ali he would be fine. She then dropped a bombshell by revealing she was leaving him. Not because she didn't love him, but because she wanted to make it on her own, not by riding his or anyone else's coattails. Assuring each other they'd see one another rise to fame, Ali and Roman kissed and parted ways.

(Uncanny X-Men I#260) - When Freddie Stanacheck unearthed a copy of the Dazzler movie, he worked to get it released in theaters at last. A now gray haired Roman Nekoboh attended the world premier of the Dazzler movie in Westwood with the screenwriter Jim Shooter. He was seen telling the tall "bubulah" to "quit grepzing" and enjoy himself, after all, this couldn't have happened without him. On the red carpet, some spectators mispronounced his name as "Nekobah" (see comments).

(X-Men Unlimited I#32) - Roman was interviewed for Dazzler: Behind the music, a tv special on the life and times of Alison Blaire. Incorrectly credited as "Roman Nekobah: producer and former lover", he recounted their time together, the anti-mutant protests and the discovery of another copy of the movie that eventually led to the world premiere he attended.

Comments: Created by Jim Shooter (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Vinnie Colletta (inks)

How times and mores change. About every other line that comes out of Roman Nekoboh is a groan worthy throwback to a "simpler" time when women were "broads" and "dames" whose actual names you never bothered to learn. Not when "baby" or "toots" worked too. And the less said about the repeated attempts at sexually assaulting Alison in Marvel Graphic Novel I#12 the better. Ali resisted his grubby attempts at pawing her (at first), and I know Shooter intended to show Hollywood's grubby, casting couch filled underbelly... But man, Nekoboh's portrayal hasn't aged well.

But fair's fair, most everyone's acting like chauvinistic, knuckle-dragging man-apes in that particular graphic novel. Even Alison, who halfway through basically forces herself on to Nekoboh and threatens to burn his toupees if he doesn't satisfy her. Man, at least Mae West was subtle about the whole thing.

Rumor has it Jim Shooter based the character on the legendary Frank Sinatra (1915 - 1998) who by the early 80s was in the twilight of his career (even if 1984's L.A. is my lady remains a guilty pleasure).Sinatra also enjoyed a long career as a singer and an actor. He was known for charming many a starlet as well and, just like Roman, Frank's toup never looked better. Also, 'Nekoboh' is Hoboken spelled backwards and that just so happens to be be where one Francis Albert Sinatra was born. For some final pieces of evidence, in Marvel Graphic Novel I#12, Roman sings a few bars of Theme from New York, New York in the shower, a tune that became Sinatra's signature song. He then ends the tale by quoting the 1966 Sinatra standard That's Life. And if you want some more proof: some of Roman's nicknames are "blue eyes" and "chairman", which sound familiar to Sinatra fans the world over. Personality-wise, Roman looks and acts more like a Jerry Lewis type, though.

Nekoboh's cameo with Jim Shooter in Uncanny X-Men I#260 is of course a reference to the fact Shooter wrote the graphic novel. An in-universe reference for this can be found on the cover of the book, which is a movie poster listing Shooter as screenwriter among the credits. It's safe to assume the "Nekobah" used in Uncanny X-Men I#260 and X-Men Unlimited I#32 were simple typos. It does sound a lot better than "Nekoboh", though.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Roman Nekoboh should not be confused with


Ziggy

Ziggy was Roman Nekoboh's trusted, loyal butler and driver who assisted him in every way possible. He was one of the few people allowed to see the real Roman,without the toupee, fake teeth, truss and contacts. He was obedient enough to carry out even the strangest orders his boss gave him, including lighting his cigarettes and working out for him.

-- Marvel Graphic Novel I#12











images: (without ads)
Dazzler I#29, p7, pan4 (main image)
Dazzler I#29, p8, pan2 (closeup)
Marvel Graphic Novel I#12, p17, pans5&6 (getting ready)
Marvel Graphic Novel I#12, p22, pan5 (forcing himself on Dazzler)
Marvel Graphic Novel I#12, p46, pans6&7 (Dazzler publicity ploy)
Marvel Graphic Novel I#12, p61, pan4 (burned in effigy)
Marvel Graphic Novel I#12, p71, pan5 (ready to get back on top)
Marvel Graphic Novel I#12, p17, pans1&2 (Ziggy)


Appearances:
Dazzler I#29 (November, 1983) -
Jim Shooter (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Vinnie Colletta (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Dazzler I#30 (January, 1984) - Ken McDonald (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Vinnie Colletta (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Dazzler I#33 (August, 1984) - Michael Carlin (writer), Mark Bright (pencils), Vinnie Colletta (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Dazzler I#34 (October, 1984) - Michael Carlin (writer), Geof Isherwood (pencils), Vinnie Colletta (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel Graphic Novel I#12 (October, 1984) - Jim Shooter (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Vinnie Colletta (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Dazzler I#35 (January, 1985) - Jim Shooter (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Vinnie Colletta (inks), Michael Carlin (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#260 (April, 1990) - Chris Claremont (writer), Marc Silvestri (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Men Unlimited I#32 (September, 2001) - Will Pfeiffer (writer), Jill Thompson (pencils & inks), Lysa Hawkins (editor)


Last updated: 02/06/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are   and 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Special thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters