Fly (Archie Comics)

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The Fly
Adventures of the Fly no 1.png
Adventures of the Fly #1 (August 1959). Cover art by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Publication information
Publisher Red Circle Comics
First appearance The Double Life of Private Strong #1 (June 1959
Created by Joe Simon
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter ego Thomas "Tommy" Troy
Team affiliations Mighty Crusaders
Abilities Superhuman strength, flight, has all the powers of the insect kingdom, size manipulation, insect telepathy

The Fly is a fictional comic book superhero published by Red Circle Comics. He was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby as part of Archie's "Archie Adventure Series" and later camped up as part of the company's Mighty Comics line. He first appeared in The Double Life of Private Strong #1 however his origin story and first "full length" appearance were in Adventures of the Fly #1 (Aug. 1959).

Publication history[edit]

After the first four issues of Adventures of the Fly (Simon and Kirby left the title after the fourth issue) others took on the character and made him an adult lawyer who fought crime in Capital City. He was later partnered with Fly Girl.

Adventures of The Fly was cancelled with issue #30 (Oct. 1964). The Fly also appeared in short stories in some of Archie's other titles (Pep Comics #151, 154, 160 and Laugh #128, 129, 132, 134, 137-139) between October 1961 and January 1963. His own series was restarted as Fly-Man as part of the "Mighty Comics Group", which ran from issues #31-39 (May 1965 - Sept. 1966). The title changed again to "Mighty Comics" which featured all various Archie super-heroes for #40-50 before finally fading away for a few years.

Under the Red Circle Comics imprint, The Fly was published, running from issue #1 (May 1983) to #9 (October 1984). The stories in this series were more similar to the previous stories in Adventures of The Fly and co-starred Fly Girl. With issue #5, Steve Ditko both wrote and drew the stories, which portrayed Tommy Troy being framed and discredited. Ditko left the series after issue #8, and another writer wrapped up the storyline in #9, which cleared Troy from any guilt.

The Fly was one of the characters used in DC Comics' revamp of the Archie characters in DC's !mpact comics line. This series, also called The Fly, ran 17 issues (Aug. 1991 - Dec. 1992) and portrayed the Fly as a boy (named Jason Troy) who turned into an adult superhero, similar to the original version of the character.

Archie Comics reprinted the first four issues in a trade paperback collection under the company's Red Circle imprint.

In 1999, Joe Simon (Kirby was not the creator of the Fly, but he did work on the early issues) regained the rights to the character thanks to copyright termination.[1] The termination did not affect Fly-Girl, since she was created after Simon and Kirby left the title.

DC comics has announced that their Impact characters[citation needed], unused for over a decade, will join the ranks of heroes in the regular DC universe. They will first appear in issues of Brave and the Bold comics written by J. Michael Straczynski.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Tommy Troy was an orphan hired by Ben (or Ezra) and Abigail March. Late one night, he tried wearing a ring with a fly-shaped emblem he found in their attic. The Marchs were wizards, and the ring summoned Turan, one of the Fly People.

Turan explained that, ages ago, the Fly People ruled the Earth. They used magic in their wars, in the ultimate one of which they reduced most of their population to common houseflies. Only a few Fly People managed to escape to another dimension, where they waited for "one person... pure of heart" to fight crime and greed, which were their own downfall. Tommy was that person. By rubbing the ring and saying "I wish I were the Fly," he exchanged bodies with the other dimension and became a costumed adult superhero. To return to his own identity, all he had to do was utter his name.

The Fly was dressed in a predominately dark green leotard with yellow shorts and belt and a yellow over-the-head mask. A pair of goggle-like eye pieces covered his eyes and a set of "wings" were built into the collar area. Originally the wings were small decorations; when the character became capable of flight, the wings became larger and somehow fully functional.

The Fly was one of the few 60's superheroes who carried a holstered weapon. The Buzz Gun, so named from the buzzing noise made when activated, was a handgun capable of dispensing non-lethal tranquillizer darts or stun rays, depending on setting.

Revival[edit]

With the post Infinite Crisis reboot of the DC Comics continuity, and the subsequent licensing of the Red Circle comics, newly, revamped version of the Mighty Crusaders were introduced. Since Archie Comics no longer owned the rights to the Fly, DC couldn't use the character. Instead, they used Kim Brand, his female counterpart in the original '60 stories, known as Fly-Girl. The new version of Kim Brand has no mystical powers on her own: instead she's a disillusioned Web Host, one of the applicants who got a powered suit by The Web in exchange for fighting crime under his franchise. Halfway during her training, Kim Brand quits, retaining the suit but significantly modifying it to increase its fighting powers, and removes every brand connecting her from the Web Hosts franchise. Kim then chooses to rename herself Fly-Girl, and fight crime solo. When Doctor Zadar manages to remotely control all the Web Hosts suits, save for the original suit of John Raymond and Fly-Girl's heavily retooled one, John Raymond seeks her help, offering her the right to keep the retooled suit for herself, instead of suing her for the unauthorized modifications to the proprietary hardware and software, in exchange for cooperation. Fly-Girl, at first insulted by the blackmail, willingly accepts and actively cooperates in freeing her fellow Hosts. Kim herself finds herself impressed by John's selflessness: however, she vocally criticizes him about his complete lack of teamwork and his tendency of put himself in the line of harm without asking for help or backup. While they're arguing, they are both drafted into the newly formed Mighty Crusaders, along with The Comet, Inferno, The Shield and War Eagle.[2]

Powers and abilities[edit]

During the start of the Archie Comics run of the character, the Fly possessed only four talents: the ability to walk up walls, to see in all directions, to escape from any trap, and acrobatic agility. Later in the series a string of insect powers were gradually added; in his final realization the Fly possessed whatever power the world's insects possessed multiplied times an nth quantity. Prime examples were: strength of a million ants, flight as fast as a million flies, durability, the power to shatter materials by vibrating his "wings" in chirping cricket fashion, webbing spun from the small of his back, bio-luminescent light and "heat", resistance to radiation and the ability to mentally control insects. Later in the series when actress Kim Brand was provided her own Fly Ring powers, becoming Fly-Girl, she possessed the same roster of magical insect-themed endowments.

Later both characters became capable of growing to skyscraper proportions or reducing to the size of an insect. These new powers were to remain during the rest of the Archies Series but were ignored during the Red Circle run.

The DC Comics incarnation of Fly-Girl has no inherent superpowers, giving her Kim Brand persona the strength of a young woman in her prime engaging in moderate-to-strenuous physical exercise. Instead, she relies on an overtly technological suit. As per the original design of the Web Host #22 suit she was given upon accepting the Web Host program, her suit was originally endowed with several abilities, including but not limited to flight, bullet-proof armor, HUD interface connected to a GPS tracker and enhanced strength.,[3] along with an up-link to the Web Lair, enabling The Web to track her and remotely disable her powers.[4]

However, disillusioned by the entire Web Host program, Brand retooled her suit, giving it a new look, eradicating the up-link abilities and enhancing its physical-strength augmentation. She is also shown carrying handheld laser weapons.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?v1=9&ti=1,9&SC=Author&SA=Simon%2C%20Joe&PID=yawJD_MyP7EIe8WOsaRfmyNdf&SEQ=20110825183534&SID=2
  2. ^ The Web (Vol. 3) #10
  3. ^ The Web vol. 3, #1
  4. ^ The Web vol. 3, #3

External links[edit]