Roman Nebokoh was introduced s a famous singer and a client of booking agent Nick Brown. Brown arranged a meeting between Roman and his stepdaughter Alison Blaire, establishing a connection which would help the latter's singing career. The same issue established that Roman was actually a "balding, paunchy, withered old man" who got by on his established reputation as "God's gift to women". He used contact lenses, dentures, a girdle and a wig to still appear youthful, resembling his younger self from ages past.
Roman Nekoboh was created by Frank Springer and first appeared in Dazzler issue 29 (1983).
Major Story Arcs
Roman was having financial problems. Maintaining an extravagant, playboy lifestyle had depleted his once considerable cash reserves. As did his paying alimony to an unspecified number of former wives. His last four films were box-office flops, his singing records were hardly selling anymore and royalties from former television appearances had ceased coming a while ago. Seeking ways to revitalize his career, Roman initially thought of doing a number of " swashbuckling pirate films".
Trying to demonstrate his fencing skills for Benson, his business manager, Roman soon found out that he wasn't healthy enough to perform. Once an athletic man, now a few "parries, sidesteps, strikes, and lunges" had Roman gasping for breath and clutching his heart. He soon got hopefull that a new film, co-staring Dazzler, could help him get back to the spotlight. Their first meeting went well and Roman was impressed with her model looks. He soon started trying to impress her and get her to agree to make her film debut by his side.
Continuing with attempts to impress her, Roman took Alison for a ride on his private airplane. Using the flight to start seducing her. Which Alison found annoying, rather than charming. The peaceful flight was interrupted by an attack, coming from a fighter jet. With Nebokoh soon unconscious and his pilot trying to maneuver the aircraft to safety, Dazzler started using her powers to counterattack against the jet. She managed to shoot down the enemy plain. Only to find their own pilot was also unconscious. Meaning Nobokoh's plane was about to crash.
Some moments later Dazzler managed to bring Nebokoh back to consciousness. Not that it did her much good. He could not fly the plane, was disoriented and had trouble remembering who Dazzler was. Not that it stopped him hitting on her again. But did remember there were two parachutes on board. Dazzler soon fitted one on him and kicked him out of the falling plane. She shared the other one with the unconscious pilot, hoping it could hold their combined weights. They landed safely and Alison used her light powers to call help. The wounded pilot was soon transported to a hospital.
Dazzler was surprised to find Roman in the same hospital. Perfectly healthy and receiving the adoration of the medical staff. He was waiting for the inevitable arrival of the press but assured Ali she could return to her home. Nick Brown soon berated her for not taking the opportunity to milk publicity out of the incident. He had no idea who ordered the assassination attempt on Roman. But thought it was a magnificent stunt. He admitted he would arrange for it himself, if only he had thought of it. The resulting fight ended with Alison parting from her stepfather and half-sister Lois Brown in disgust.
The issue revealed it was never an assassination attempt on Nebokoh. It was a hit on Dazzler, arranged by anti-mutant military officials. Nebokoh resurfaced later as Dazzler's new booking agent. He got her invitations to social events, allowing her networking opportunities with high-profile performers. However he insisted on letting him handle introductions. He wanted at least some of these figures away from his leading lady. He couldn't however prevent her from getting introduced to director Richard Benson (based on historical director John Landis).
Benson, famous for his horror films, had been recently hired to do a music video called "Chiller". (Landis was hired to do a music video called "Thriller"). Singer and dancer Teddy Lingard would star, but needed several dancers to support him. (Lingard was based on Michael Jackson, star of "Thriller". The real music video did feature a small army of other dancers). Benson offered Alison a position as one of said dancers. Dazzler was delighted. Roman much less so. Warning her that Benson had a "reputation for playing fast and easy" with the physical safety of his hired talent. (Landis acquired an extremely poor reputation in the 1980s following his direction of "Twilight Zone:The Movie" (1983). An accident involving a helicopter resulted in the deaths of famous actor Vic Morrow and debuting child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen.) Before having a chance to finish the conversation, Alison had to rush and investigate an explosion, coming from Benson's car. The car had burst in flames but Benson was found a short distance from it. Apparently unconscious but with no wounds evident.
A recovering Benson wrote the incident off as another incident of his widely reputed "jinx". Roman and Alison offered to help him further. He was only interested in returning to his home. But Ali was curious at his unnaturally calm reaction to the whole event. Dazzler did accept his offer to play in "Chiller". Roman's warning turned out to be correct. Benson did endanger the lives of his performers. But Alison ended his career, discovering the "jinx" events following Benson were not accidents. Or at least had not been accidents for quite a while. Benson had come to believe said "accidents" was the only way to draw publicity to his person. He had taken to arranging them all, accidental deaths, explosions, etc. Lingard was left thinking of replacing Benson with the director of the "American Werewolf in London" (1981). (The in-joke being that said director was John Landis, Benson's historical counterpart).
Later, Dazzler found a new gig, working as a model for "Millie's Models". It was a modeling agency owned by veteran model Millie Collins. Alison had lost faith in both Roman's skills as a booking agent and his motivation. He seemed to turn up everywhere she went, almost stalking her. But never with an actual business proposal or any help for her financial problems. She doubted if the man had her best interests at heart. In their next meeting, Alison gave him a cold reception and was ready to severe all ties with him. He followed her to her modest apartment, trying to charm her again. But he was simply thrown out.
When Dazzler's few days on the job resulted in a kidnapping by Tom Devine, a crazed former fashion artist, she decided modeling was too dangerous for her tastes. She quit and recommended Chili Storm to take her place. It was Chili who had taken out Devine with a single punch to his jaw. Alison was frustrated to find Roman waiting for her outside Millie's agency. She told him off and again accused him of actually undermining her efforts instead of helping her. He did leave but promised to return to her life.
He did in "Marvel Graphic Novel" #12. He let out to the press that she was his new lover and next co-star. She found herself attracting unforeseen publicity. Though disgusted with the old lecher, she soon found herself the object of his near-obsessive pursuit. Eventually convinced he was both genuinely charmed with her and convinced of her star potential, she gave in. Becoming first his business partner and then his lover.
If Roman had no problem attracting publicity to his new leading lady and their supposed next film project, he had considerable trouble in convincing people to financially back his movie. The press outed her connection to the X-Men, scaring investors away. Eric Beale eventually took up the financing of the film ... but harsh terms of his own. Over the following period Roman had to out her status as a mutant to the world, arrange a public demonstration of her powers and endure attacks by mutant-haters. All to complete his film. As soon it was over, Eric acquired the sole rights of it.
Eric arranged for Roman t spend the next several years touring around the world, revitalizing his career. At the cost of being effectively "owned" by the man and severing all contacts with Alison. The two lovers parted with a kiss, admitting they still loved each other. but each had to take his/her own way and prove they can make it back to the limelight. Other than a flashback in "X-Men Unlimited" vol. 1 #32, Roman has not been seen since.