Retro Review: The Fly # 1

Hello fellow comic book fans and welcome to another RETRO REVIEW!  This week it’s time for another review of a comic that doesn’t come from the big two, i.e. Marvel or D C Comics!  So I’ve dug deep into my collection and brought to light The Fly # 1, cover dated May 1983, from Red Circle (an imprint of Archie Comics).

The first thing that catches the eye is the very nice Jim Steranko cover!  Jim provides both the pencils and the inks for this little gem.  Take a look:

The Fly # 1

The Fly # 1 May 1983

The comic offers the reader three separate stories.  The first is the cover feature, featuring the Fly, entitled; “The Return of the Sinister Spider!”   The story is written by Rich Buckler (who you might be more familiar with as an artist), from a plot by Jack C. Harris.  The art, both pencils and inks, is supplied by James Sherman.  A lot of you might not be familiar with him, but he had a nice run on D C Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes comic, back in the day!

The comic brings the reader up to date on the super-hero, the Fly, who once upon a time had his own comic, which started way back in 1959, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby!  Here’s a look at the very first cover:

Adventures of the Fly # 1

Adventures of the Fly # 1 August 1959

As you can see from the 1959 cover, the villain featured in that very first issue was none other than Spider Spry, the same villain in the 1983 rebooted comic.  The new number one (1)  issue, explains what happened to the Fly and why he gave up being a super-hero and why he’s back now.  His first action is to recontact Fly Girl and get her to renew their partnership.  But she turns him down in this first issue and the Fly decided to carry on alone! The Spider reads of the Fly’s return and escapes prison to resume their epic battles!  The story is very well drawn with some cool layouts and it’s almost like Sherman was trying to do some Steranko riffs within the story.  And I think they work very well.  The splash page is particularly well done, at least in my opinion!  This first story ran eighteen pages, as well.

The first story ends on a surprise cliffhanger, for our hero which begs the reader to return for the second issue, two months down the line!  I know I made sure I came back for that second issue!  Plus issue number two also featured a Steranko cover!

The second story is a short, 4 page, re-introduction of Lancelot Strong, the Shield, another Simon and Kirby creation, entitled; “Who Is The Man With The Double Life?”.  The short feature recaps the origin and powers of The Shield and is written and drawn by Rich Buckler, drawing as Jack Kirby!

And the final eight page story, re-introduces the hero; Mr. Justice.  The story is entitled; “Mr. Justice … And The God That Fell To Earth!”  It’s written by Chris Adames and is pencilled by Trevor Von Eeden and inked by Frank Giacoia.  This story is nicely drawn and quite good for a back-up!  The gist is that Mister Justice investigates the deaths of a series of suicides!

Not a bad little first issue that only cost a buck, back in 1983!

About Greg Turner

Greg Turner (@gregturner16) is Back to the Past’s archivist and an auctioneer. He writes the columns “Fabulous Finds” and “Retro Reviews” on alternating weeks for the website and spins classic 45′s each week for Vinyl Tuesdays.

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