Issue by Issue – The Human Fly #1

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Lee Elias
Colours – Marie Severen
Letters – Joe Rosen

The Human Fly was a stunt man in the 1970s who yes, performed stunts that were quite exciting, but as soon as he came upon the stage he just as soon left it when a performance went wrong. After jumping twenty-seven buses upon a souped-up motorbike, The Human Fly would disappear from the public eye never to be seen again and yet, before that would ever happen, Marvel Comics would produce a nineteen issue comic book series featuring the character, the first issue of which would turn out to be a lot of fun. It would begin with the man hanging out of a helicopter trying to get himself onto a fast-moving airplane where only moments previously he had been having a press conference. A terrorist by the name of The Mercenary has taken control of the plane so that he might get five million in cash and so it is that The Human Fly is spurred into motion for he cannot just sit back and do nothing. Bill Mantlo who writes this tale and Lee Elias who makes it come alive upon the page presents a tension and suspense-filled tale, one that sees the stuntman buffeted by incredible winds that threaten to tear him off of both the apparatus that lowers him to the plane and off of the plane once he is upon it. Throughout the book, Mantlo also gives readers a bit of back-story on the various supporting characters that pepper the book such as Blaze Kendall – pilot, Ted Locke – engineer and The Human Fly himself who was in a terrible car crash years past which resulted in him getting many of his bones replaced with steel rods and having to retrain his body to respond and work once again. After this incident changed his life, The Human Fly was determined to change the lives of others, donating the money he makes from the various stunts he performs to other disabled people. Suffice it to say, after quite a bit of action and some daring-do, The Human Fly with a bit of an assist from Spider-Man whose alter-ego Peter Parker was aboard the plane, manages to put the kibosh on The Mercenary thereby saving everyone on board with none the worse for wear. While in real life there is some doubt as to the man’s origins, one version saying the Fly broke his bones due to an altercation with a gorilla and others the car crash as represented within, much less the man’s real identity which is purported to be Canadian Rick Rojatt, after he disappeared, so too did The Human Fly. While he left behind a bit of mystery which continues to perplex a few to this very day, there is also this comic series that would start off strongly and ensure readers coming back for more.

4 out of 5

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