Issue by Issue – The Human Fly #12

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Lee Elias
Inker – Frank Springer
Colours – Glynis Wein
Letters – Joe Rosen

Though this is The Human Fly’s book and though he does perform a death-defying stunt during the first few pages, this story is not really so much about him as it is about his team and one man in particular. Arnie Berman is a normal man unlike many of those on the team, whose only skill is his quick thinking from being a reporter and thus why he is now the Fly’s promoter. Bill Mantlo takes a look back at Arnie’s origin, something which might seem a little uninteresting given that he has no powers or special abilities but be that as it may, Mantlo weaves a tale that makes it all quite interesting as well as exciting. It all begins with Arnie sitting down with Harmony White, hearing that she is no longer a reporter and then telling her his story, one where he used to be just a cub reporter in a small town, one with a stutter and no confidence to speak of. Soon he cannot decide whether he should just quit his job or wait to get fired when The Human Fly comes to town for his first big stunt and it is then that Arnie decides he can get his big break if he can expose the Fly’s secret identity. Sneaking aboard the airplane that is going to take the Fly higher than any skydiver has gone before, he does indeed discover the Fly’s identity and while he thinks of the fame he will receive, that all takes a backseat to what happens next as the Fly is in danger and Arnie, not even thinking of himself, acts decisively and puts his own life in jeopardy to save the man who would have made his career. As Mantlo shows towards the end of the book, the Fly did in fact make his career in a way as he was invited to join the team and from that day on as Arnie tells Harmony, he has not stuttered since. Though this might not have been the usual type of tale featured in the book, it was a good one much like every issue that has preceded it and it made for exceptional reading. With great artwork from Lee Elias and Mantlo at the helm, The Human Fly continues to be a top-notch book.

4 out of 5

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