Characters Appearing: Copperhead II, Daredevil, Human Fly, White Tiger
Human Fly #8-9
Issue(s): Human Fly #8, Human Fly #9
So when choosing which issues of the Human Fly i wanted to own, i picked the issues where there were super-hero guest stars. Because otherwise, let's face it, it's just Bill Mantlo writing about a stuntman. But my choices have also turned my complaint about the Human Fly getting upstaged by the super-powered super-heroes of the Marvel Universe into a self-fulfilling prophecy. So i'll try not to harp on it too much.
In an attempt to actually draw a distinction between the Human Fly and super-heroes, Mantlo does have the Fly specifically say a few times that he is not a crime fighter.
But that's only minor comfort when Mantlo keeps writing plots where the Fly is forced to face off against criminals. And in this issue, it's the super-powered villain Copperhead.
Luckily he has help from the White Tiger and Daredevil.
There's been some evolution in the character of Harmony Whyte since her earliest appearances. At this point she's got some respect for the Fly, but she's being forced by her producers to continue to attempt to expose his secret ID, and she's torn between doing the right thing and losing her job.
The arc starts with the Human Fly performing a jet-powered skateboard stunt.
Hector Ayala, aka the White Tiger, is jealous that the Hispanic kids in the neighborhood are more inspired by this than by him.
Someone else remarks that "skateboarding is something [the kids] can identify with!". No one is concerned that a bunch of kids might break their necks trying to replicate this stunt.
Lee Elias is the regular artist on this series, but Frank Robbins guest-pencils on these two issues. Elias may be old fashioned, but Robbins is really messy and i don't like his style.
A note in the lettercol for issue #8 references the accident at the bus-jumping event that was covered in the Rocketman article.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Hector Ayala wasn't JEALOUS of the Fly..he was merely saddened that he wasn't a 'good enough' superhero that he couldn't inspire like the Human Fly could. Jealousy was NEVER an issue..all Hector's life, all he wanted to do was 'inspire' but never really could-just like every Marvel hero..he has personal 'confidence' problems.
Posted by: Andy Kerschenske | March 22, 2013 3:11 PM
I guess it's Daredevil's enhanced senses that let him know that guy's a gunsel.
Posted by: S | March 22, 2013 11:44 PM
Regarding outsourcing back then - here's some comments by Claremont about shipping art to and from the Philippines in the 70s:
"It wasn't really until Stan moved out west, and then Jack moved out west, that things began splintering. We did a lot of work with Tony and Marie DeZuniga, and they had this huge studio in the Philippines. They shipped the pages as Air Freight and, if the package got lost (and you're talking about a fairly impressive box of a few hundred or even a thousand pages a month) you were so fucked. They did get lost, on more than one occasion. But there was no electronic transit! You called them on the phone, trying to calculate the time zone difference, which was fourteen hours tomorrow."
Posted by: S | March 23, 2013 3:14 PM
"I'm not a crime-fighter!"
ME (almost in pain): "Then why do you have a book??" I swear, they could have just called this series Licensed Bystander and it would have been about as exciting. Sheesh.
Posted by: Dan Spector | March 25, 2018 5:09 PM
this guy should have been in the Serpent Society. It's amazing that Gru missed him. He's not that snakey but he is named after a snake.
Posted by: kveto | May 22, 2018 3:17 AM
There was a Copperhead in the Serpent Society but he was a new character Gruenwald created. So it turns out there were 3 different Marvel villains called Copperhead, which I would not have guessed.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | May 22, 2018 4:36 AM
Also that a licensed comic about a stuntman would feature Daredevil kicking a catamite from behind. That I would not have guessed either.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | May 22, 2018 4:39 AM
The Human Fly? Who the hell owns these? Only a fool who's a sucker for anything Bronze Age Marvel!
Posted by: KevinA | May 22, 2018 9:59 AM
@Jonathan yeah, I know about the third Copperhead but there seemed no reason to create him when there was a perfectly usable Copperhead from these issues. Could it be the encyclopedic Grunewald didnt recall these issues?
Posted by: kveto | May 22, 2018 2:46 PM
Well, he's called "Copperhead", but then he has a copper suit of armour that covers his whole body, not just his head. I feel he's more about the metal theme than the snake theme. Is he dedicated enough to the snake cause?
If Sidewinder wants anything in his Serpent Society, he wants loyalty. He doesn't want a guy who'll go running off the moment, erm, Cobalt Man and Goldbug call him saying how great their Metal Mob is going to be.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | May 22, 2018 3:44 PM
Heh, heh. I'd love the Metal Mob.:-)
However, the main requirement for the Serpent Society seemed to be the name. There was nothing particularly snakey about Diamondback, the Asp, Black Mamba, Coachwhip, Fer-de-lance, Black Racer, etc.
Same reason I would have loved Cornell Cottonmouth from Luke Cage in the Society.
Posted by: kveto | May 22, 2018 5:41 PM
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