by Ryan McLelland

The Fly #1
Impact Comics/DC Comics
August 1991

Written by: Len Strazewski
Penciled by: Mike Parobeck
Inked by: Paul Fricke

The year was 1991 and DC Comics launched its Impact Comics imprint based on Archie’s old MLJ line. With taglines like ‘Welcome to the New Era of Super-Heroes’ new series featuring The Shield, The Jaguar, The Comet, and a few others with articles in front of their names were launched. The line didn’t last very long and most of the comics, including The Fly #1 I scooped out of the bin, are available for a quarter.

The issue starts with Jason Troy in a high school class playing a videogame instead of paying attention to his boring teacher. The teacher calls Jason out on not paying attention and decides to give him an individual assignment: create a new superhero. Jason isn’t too happy about this as he walks out of his class, thinking this isn’t exactly the greatest way to start off in a new school.

Jason goes home and works most of the night on a hero he calls The Fly. With wide vision goggles, flight wings, super strength, and gripper gloves this new hero looks to be Jason’s best schoolwork ever. When Jason goes back to school and shows the assignment to his teacher the bearded man gives him a reward of a fly trapped in amber necklace bigger then a clock Flavor Flav would wear. Ecstatic over his new gift Jason calls it a day and heads on out to the mall.

Enter Burnout – a flame-throwing bad guy who is torching the mall under orders from his boss (a half-human, half-spider dude) who is trying to collect some debts from the mall’s owner. With Burnout burning the mall down and Jason not being able to enter, the youth wishes that he could become his superhero creation so he could take him down himself.

Presto-Chango. Suddenly, thanks to the magic amber, Jason becomes The Fly. He doesn’t quite understand how it all happened but he knows that he has a job to do. Burnout does end up turning his attention away from the mall but now turns his flames toward The Fly. A very beautiful obligatory five-page fight scene goes underway until The Fly ends up victorious over his not-so-bright foe. Jason’s quite glad that he can now become a studly superhero but when he runs back to tell his teacher what happened he learns from his other classmates that the guy Jason saw never existed. Not only is Jason a new superhero at a new school, but now everyone thinks he’s crazy.

Probably one of the best comics of the Impact line, The Fly guides to simple success thanks to the writing of Len Strazewski, who is known for great super teen books like Ultraverse’s Prime. Adding to the book is the art of the late great Mike Parobeck with stunning artwork that not only showcased his amazing drawing talent but additionally archived the work of a man who would have become one of the biggest artists in the world should he still be with us today. Any fan of books like Prime or Ultimate Spider-Man would best pick up The Fly especially if you can find it for one shiny quarter.