Issue by Issue – The Human Fly #10

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Lee Elias
Inker – Mike Esposito
Colours – Francoise Mouly
Letters – Peter Iro

There are all sorts of villains in the world but none more vile than those that put profit ahead of people and their safety and this story features one such man. Mr. Dukas wants to close down one of the coal mines ahead of a safety inspection so that he might keep running other mines as shoddily as he runs the current one and there are two union men who work within it that will not allow that to happen and that Mr. Dukas will be held accountable. All of this takes place during a fundraiser for the union where The Human Fly happens to be performing and when his daredevil feat is over, he notices the two men leave to do their inspection with death in the form of a man following them closely behind. Bill Mantlo writes a riveting tale despite his lead character dressed in the garb of a superhero and Lee Elias makes it all come to life upon the page, a perfect melding of talent that finds the Fly in his element once again. So it is that the Fly means to save the two men and while things might have run smoothly at first, his companions helping him to stop the mine from being destroyed, things manage to run foul and the Fly and the miners are trapped within, quite possibly with no hope of escape while those on the outside are about to be executed. The tension is thick and readers have to wonder just how it is that those inside the mine are to survive, especially with one of the men trapped underneath a beam while another slowly suffocates. As it is, the Fly manages to work his magic which involves a little critical thinking and with an alternative route that might have been a long-shot panning out, everyone within the mine is saved while those without work a little magic themselves. Altogether, Mantlo and company crafted an excellent story that would entertain from start to finish, that which readers hope for every time they open a book. Despite the fact that The Human Fly is a stuntman and those stunts are almost secondary to all of the stories that have taken place throughout the series with few exceptions, it works to the benefit of the tales that are told. A great book on all accounts.

4 out of 5

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