February 13, 2006

The Fly #8 [1984]

Ditko briefly worked for Archie during one of their super-hero revivals in 1983/1984, when frequent collaborator Robin Snyder was an editor there. Initially he was just pencilling the main feature in THE FLY, but soon enough he was plotting and inking as well, as in this issue. In this issue he also just drew the Jaguar back-up story.

In this version of the series, The Fly is the now adult lawyer Thomas Troy. Prior to this issue he's been suspected of mob ties.

"The Big Freeze" is the 15-page lead story in this issue, starting with a gangster, Damato, trying to hire him. They're interrupted by a mysterious frozen figure in a suit who demands money from the gangster, an old accomplice that Damato and another partner of his had dumped in a freezer years before. Troy eventually fights the frozen man as the Fly. Ditko's art is pretty strong, especially the design of the villain and the staging of the action scenes, but I think the plotting could have been a bit stronger, explaining the villain better, and some of the writing was a bit clumsy.

"Jaguar: The Conclusion" is a 5-page story that I guess completes the origin of the character. Ditko didn't draw the earlier stories, and it's kind of hard to understand, but it has something to do with a Mexican Jaguar cult that leads to the creation of the hero. Some nice artwork, and it all might make more sense if I had all the other chapters.

Ditko also draws the cover to this issue.


1 comment:

  1. I remember that Fly run. I think there were 4 or 5 issues. Tom Troy was unjustly framed for a crime, got disbarred, and spent his time trying to clear himself and also earn a living.

    In real life, Archie's publisher got wind of the story, and said, "We can't have a disbarred lawyer as a hero!" and fired Ditko, whose explanations fell on deaf ears.

    The next issue (sans Ditko), one of the other Archie superheroes helped clear the Fly in the first 2 pages of the story. The explantion didn't even make sense!

    Too bad they lost Ditko. I remember a villain called "The Crooked Man", who dressed really wacky. Even had a shoe on one of his hands, and a glove on one of his feet.

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