The Human Fly is just a man unlike many of the costumed heroes that populate the Marvel Universe and as such, he must deal with failure like any other normal person. At the moment, he is feeling pretty down for having failed is what he has just done at an event in Montreal where he tried to jump a number of buses with the rockets on his bike shorting out. The man’s confidence has been shaken and even worse, he feels like he has let all those he works for, the many charities and disabled people who count on him, down. Despite all of that, the show must go on and so it is that he goes to St. Louis where he will attempt to ride up and over the Gateway Arch, a feat many would call impossible. Elsewhere at the Arch is a band called Silver Charity who are to perform for the event and the lead singer does not want to sing his song Death of a Superstar for every time that he does, bad things tend to happen and he feels if he does, it will be the end of his life. Bill Mantlo writes a different kind of Human Fly story, one that is based once again upon true events – that being the job in Montreal and one of redemption as the Fly looks to gain back his confidence and prove that he can continue doing what he knows best. Also on the scene is Harmony White, there to report on the Fly and to make him look like a fraud even though she knows differently. As events in the book proceed, Harmony’s boss also shows up to keep an eye on her and when it finally comes down to it, Harmony stands up to him and decides that she is going to be a real reporter, one that tells the truth and she quits on the spot. As for the Fly, the stunt goes off without a hitch but the same could not be said for the lead singer down below whose manager had previously grifted all he could off of the band and now looks to kill him for the insurance money. Sadly, preventing the death of the man was beyond even the Human Fly’s abilities but the villain was caught and so at least in part, all is right with the world and the book has a somewhat happy ending. Great artwork by Lee Elias and a great story continue to make this book a must-read.
4 out of 5