did you come to be involved with Spectrum/Archie?
First, let me say that this was 1989, and you're
one of the few to know/ask about it, so my memories aren't
crystal clear. As I recall, they came to me. The idea was, this
was not required to adhere to "Archie" standards - it
was going to be a Superhero/Horror series. The movie "The
Fly" had been out not too long before, and that had given
the editor, Scott Fulop, the idea. I came up with my own slant,
but that was the ballpark we were working in.
was the artist on the Fly?
My script for #2 lists Michael Bair on pencils
and Bob Downs on inks. I don't know if any pages were ever drawn.
many issues worth of scripts did you have done before being told
the series was cancelled?
I had 2 complete scripts, and plots for two more.
were your thoughts on the cancellation of the Spectrum
experiment? (disappointed? Not suprised at all? etc...)
Disappointed, and reasonably surprised. Scott
Fulop, the editor, thought he had a firm commitment to the new
line so having the plug pulled was not something we expected. To
be fair, Scott's reading of it was that Archie *was* committed -
they wanted to broaden their reach - but ultimately decided this
was too broad if they wanted to keep doing the wholesome books.
They weren't, I don't believe, close to pulling the plug earlier.
know of any other titles/creators that wre supposed to be on the
Len Wein had the Hangman, and Marv Wolfman may
have been involved in something.
was the Fly going to be like? (visual, as well as
I don't know visually. The plot was deliberately
brutal and it went like this: a handsome, heroic teenager is
given powers by an alien, and spends much of #1 growing into a
hero - before his body starts to decompose. He learns that the
powers are in fact a "virus" which will pass from human
to human until they mutate enough to stabilize - then that
stabilized virus will serve as a template so alien hordes can
invade. Our hero dies, but his body staggers to his cute
girlfriend's house and infects her. In #2, she's the Fly, and at
the end of it, she dies, too. But her doctor has figured it out,
and he may find a cure in #3...except he's now the Fly...
It becomes a race to solve the problem before
those who know about the problem die. Basically, it was the
Simon/Kirby origin if the alien handing out powers were, in fact,
there any way in heck to get a copy of the art, or the stories
for the Spectrum stuff?
Art I dunno. I sell copies of my old scripts, including FLY #1
and #2, for $15 per.
How many pages are those?
26 pages each.
Why was Spectrum
To the best of my knowledge, the Archie guys saw what was
planned (Hangman was also pretty dark; it wasn't just this!) and
decided it wasn't good for their image.
Do you think it
would have succeeded had ArchieCo not pulled the plug?
You never know, but I think so. It was different from anything
else out there, it was right at the Image/speculator explosion
time, it was concept-driven much like Malibu three years later.
What kind of
research did you do on the characters?
I did my usual reading of what had gone before - the
Simon/Kirby version and the Mighty Heroes stuff. Mighty was, of
course, lame, but Kirby was always great. Still, our Fly was a
dark reflection of his stuff. I named my #1 hero Troy Thompson -
from Tommy Troy and also Flash Thompson (SPIDER-MAN).
What was your first
introduction to the MLJ heroes?
Probably the Mighty Heroes.
Did you enjoy the
Mighty Comics stuff?
Not really. Bad Marvel wannabe stories, bad art. I liked them
in the sense that they showed me characters I didn't otherwise
know, with some cool back stories, but the execution was just
lame compared to the standards Marvel was setting.
Did you catch the
early-80's Red Circle stuff (done by Rich Buckler and crew)?
I did. That stuff was far better crafted. But in the end, it
didn't establish any of the characters as heroes for the
contemporary age. As soon as they stopped publishing, they faded
Would you work on
the characters again if given the chance (although it might mean
adhering to Archie standards this time)?
Well, I can't imagine doing *that* Fly under normal Archie
standards, but anything's possible, and I did like the idea
because it was so different.
here if you to email Steve
about the Fly scripts which he is selling.