My Fly Paper

Of all the Impact books, the Fly was without a doubt the best and in large part because of Mike Parobeck's super-fun artwork. Len Stazewski's stories were simple, but made this the Impact series best suited for its intended audience. And like the best youth market-oriented books, it was just as good for older readers.

THE FLY (or are they going to call him FLY-MAN this time?)
Background: The original Tommy Troy found a ring with a fly emblem in his attic which summoned one of the Fly People who used to rule the Earth with their magics. They had a war which resulted in most of their population being turned into houseflies, while the others were exiled to another dimension to await a messiah who was pure of heart. By saying Shazam (I mean, "I want to be the Fly"), Tommy exchanges bodies with one of the Fly People and becomes an adult superhero. Despite the silly Fly People angle, it's your classic kid-becomes-adult fantasy à la Captain Marvel, Ninjak, etc.

Revamp Method: Just keep the name and concept and run(fly) with it. Without the Fly People, of course.

Why Keep the Impact Fly?
1. His look
Mike Parobek's art is beautiful and his expressive googly-eyed Fly a real joy. Dynamic, not too bulky, and comic without being silly. I especially like the eyebrow shapes inside the eyes. I love the chitinous armor, the integrated fly-in-amber medallion, and the bluebottle sleekness of the uniform.

2. His rogues' gallery
Arachnus (above) is just the perfect archvillain for a superhero called the Fly, and though none of the Fly's villains would ever be considered "great", they mostly had the feel of those early Spider-Man villains. And they all made something of themselves, right? But now the DC Universe'll have to make do without Chromium, Burnout, Domino, General Mechanix, Tremor and Arachnus.

3. His transformations
The first time Jason Troy became the Fly, he looked a little different. He had a freakier, more insect-like head and posture. But once Jason saw himself in the mirror, he was able to tweak his look. In other words, his appearance, and maybe even his exact balance of powers are dictated by his imagination. I thought this opened a lot of doors for the character, providing him with mission-specific suits and easy tweaks whenever he wanted.

4. His hot mom
Hm. Yes. Well, I've said what I wanted to say on the subject.

Why NOT Keep the Impact Fly?
1. Other artists aren't very good at drawing him
As you can see, the Fly's other appearances throughout the Impact line have not been so good. Maybe it takes a particular pen to make the design work.

Though I'm intrigued by the potential use of Fly-Girl, I still think the Impact Fly was loads better than what I've seen of the original (with all due respect to Simon and Kirby). Tomorrow: The regendered Jaguar!

6 comments:

Sea-of-Green said...

YAY! I love the Fly -- such a fun character. We can only hope DC does right by him.

hiikeeba said...

I think you nailed why The Fly was the best of the Impact line: Parobeck's style was reminiscent of Ditko's work on Spider-Man, and the title was a hoot to read.

Siskoid said...

I think the Impact line very much has that early Marvel comics vibe in the way it builds its various characters and has them meet each other in their shared universe.

Or perhaps I should say it reminds me of Ultimate Marvel (especially the Web's role as Impact's Ultimate SHIELD).

Dan said...

All these years, I thought The Fly was my own little secret. Glad to see I wasn't the only one who dug it back in the day.

rob! said...

Parobeck was awesome. his Batman, JSA, and now i see The Fly art was just so perfect.

Siskoid said...

Where Batman adjusted his work towards the WB house style, and JSA was a bit too clean and happy to really show the characters' ages, the Fly was by far his very best work. A perfect match between style and subject.

 

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