Friday, March 8, 2013

The Long Overdue Tribute to the Human Fly!

Every so often, I run into a fun bit of head-scratching trivia, and today's is courtesy of our continued look at Amazing Spider-Man #276.

Observe, the escape of the Human Fly: 

This made me pause for a moment.  I was familiar with the character, but I always referred to him as simply "The Fly."  When we're talking about "The Human Fly," I think of this guy:

Remember him?  He was the "real" super-hero based on Rick Rojatt, a stuntman.  His comic wasn't nearly as bad as it should have been.  I mean, it wasn't Kingdom Come or anything, but it wasn't SuperPro, either.  Then again, I may be cutting it a break because it had the Ghost Rider and the original White Tiger making guest appearances at some point.

So I was a little confused and thought maybe they had the villain's name wrong.  But I looked back at his first appearance and, sure enough:

Yup.  To make matters even more complicated, Marvel introduced both characters within about a year of each other.  I complain about DC having too many characters that go by the name "the Flash," but they at least acknowledge there are a few guys going around with that name.  To the best of my knowledge, the two "Human Flies" never crossed paths nor did anyone ever mention the shared monicker.

In retrospect, of course, I remember that there was a Golden Age "The Fly" who was owned by another company, so Marvel probably couldn't get away with that one.  They could have re-named one of the characters, I suppose, but it was probably more trouble than it was worth.

So what happened to these guys?  Well... 

... and that was that, but at least he was given an "on-camera" death.  No Second String Pick-Off (tm!) here.

The stuntman/superhero disappeared when his title was cancelled with issue 19.  Why he had a rocket emblem on his costume was never explained.

But, in the "Truth is Stranger than Fiction" Department, it appears that there were talks at one point about making the character into a movie.  One can justifiably conclude that Hollywood has indeed officially run out of ideas.

And yes, "Spak Pum" is officially part of Sound Effect Theater (tm!).

See you Monday! 


Unknown said...

Something has always bugged me (pardon the pun) about that scene.

How did Scourge know the Human Fly was going to be in that alley at that time? Or was he just hanging about the alley in the hope that a supervillain would show up?

Adam Barnett said...

There's no real explanation. I mean, Scourge went to the prison disguised as a worker when the Human Fly escaped, so maybe he tracked him? Seems kind of outlandish, but outlandish is the way they roll in comics!

MarvelX42 said...

I don't think that Scourge was ever explained at all aside from afew conflicting accounts of who he might have been. Maybe it was a guy who could detect superpowered or costumed beings or people. Okay, after I just wrote that I went and looked up Scourges entry on Wikipedia and man oh man is that story complicated. Also it looks like the Human Fly is brought back to life later on. At least for awhile.

Adam Barnett said...

Yup, Marv! I talk a bit more about Scourge on Monday!

Tracer Bullet said...

It's so rare to see a crap character like this get the inglorious ending he deserves. Now if they'll only have The Hood shat upon by a hippo and a garbage-strewn alley . . .