Issue by Issue – The Human Fly #9

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Frank Robbins
Inker – Mike Esposito
Colours – Mary Titus
Letters – John Costanza

When last seen, The Human Fly along with his friends, a teacher and some children were stuck upon a giant urn from the Metropolitan museum which was sinking underground thanks to the machinations of the villain called Copperhead who aimed to steal it. After battling the White Tiger, Copperhead stands triumphant for the moment and looks to meet up with his spoils, that is until a couple of police officers decide to bravely jump into the fray, giving the White Tiger time enough to transform back into Hector Ayala, overcoming the poison that was ravaging his body. So it is that he too is back in the fight and takes it even further as he and Copperhead drop into the sewers below the museum where the urn previously passed, transforming back into the White Tiger so that he might come out on top. On the far end where all of this is taking place, the urn finally arrives at its destination where numerous gangsters await and unbeknownst to them, they are being watched by the one and only Daredevil. This all leads to a battle between the various forces as Daredevil takes on the gangsters while the Fly tries to keep the children safe while coming up behind them in the tunnels is Copperhead and the White Tiger. Author Bill Mantlo goes into the origin of the new Copperhead for a bit, revealing what makes the man the way he is and how he came to be. While it was good to see, Copperhead would end up monologuing quite a bit which seemed a little strange given he was in the middle of committing a crime. There is also a slight gaff in the story as Mantlo shows the criminals wanting to do away with the witnesses when the Fly and the children first appear and then later, after battling Daredevil and when Copperhead is about to do the same, they find they do not want their reputation ruined by having some kids knocked off and try to prevent it. As it is, with all three heroes teaming up together, they finally manage to defeat the threat of Copperhead, though, in the end, the villain manages to get away. With some great artwork by Frank Robbins and Mike Esposito along with Mantlo’s stellar storytelling, the book looks and reads incredibly well and remains a forgotten gem from Marvel’s past.

4 out of 5

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