The Human Fly by J.S. Kociuba

Character: The Human Fly
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Artist: J.S. Kociuba
Reviewer: Vito Delsante

The 1970’s were an awesome time for comics. There were so many madcap characters created…more than you could shake a stick at. Case in point: The Human Fly.

The Human Fly was part of the 70′s stuntman craze. Marvel had a couple of these guys (the other being the Stunt-Master, one of my favorite characters ever). There was actually a real guy who was the Human Fly, outside of the Marvel U., stuntman Rick Rojatt. If you can grab a copy of 2Morrows’ Back Issue #20, there’s an excellent article on him. Written by Bill Mantlo and drawn by great under-rated artists like Frank Robbins and Don Perlin, the comic was based on the real life daredevil that wore a costume. The byline for the comic was genius: “The Wildest Super-Hero Ever—Because He’s Real!”

Okay, after that brief history lesson, let’s take a look at this redesign by J.S. Kociuba.

There’s a simplicity here that, while modern, doesn’t quite do the character justice. I like the jacket…a lot. The incorporation of the rocket logo on the jacket is a great touch. I think the cape could be taken off and bring us closer to a sharper look. The shoes, while not the typical super hero boots, could look a little more like sneakers instead of slippers…the reality is, a motorcycle stuntman might actually want to wear combat boots or motorcycle boots.

I also like the mask (he kept the original, which is smart because you want recognition) and the gloves, which have a cool motorcycle look. The pants are a little plain, but I do like that they are pants and not tights. I think it needs a little more flair, but overall, it’s good to see a modern take on this fun, but somewhat overlooked character.

10 comments on “The Human Fly by J.S. Kociuba
  1. I dig the simplicity, though I’m not that familiar with the character, other than knowing the name. I like the cape, and really dig the gloves. I think the stuntman vibe could be punched up a bit with some piping on the jacket and maybe some knee-pad sections on the pants. Cool stuff, though. (And, of course, it matches the P:R color scheme…)

  2. The great/ridiculous thing about the comics version of this character is that, after an accident, doctors replaced his entire skeleton with stainless steel! Which, somehow, helped him to do stuff.

    It may be that the real version of the Human Fly also had a stainless steel skeleton, and this is why he hasn’t been heard from since the Seventies. Because, you know, having a stainless steel skeleton would pretty much kill you.

    I can’t get over the fact that this guy looks like the Danish flag. But I like the mix of casual sports gear and mask and cape. I especially like the flared design around the eye-holes. The shoes probably need to be a bit more substantive. These look like slip-ons, and if you’re clinging to the side of a skyscraper, you don’t want ‘em slipping off. And it might be nice to incorporate some standard stunt tools-of-the-trade into the costume (whatever those might be: suction sups? carabiners?).

  3. Pingback: Blog@Newsarama » Fly on the roof

  4. I think this could actually go over really well. I like the lighter footwear, it makes him look quick and acrobatic to me. I like the short cape and luchador mask for flair combined with the practical jumpsuit.

    It does seem strange to me that the character is named “The Human Fly” when there is nothing remotely fly-like about his costume and his emblem is a rocket.

  5. I remember this book from when I was a kid. It was dumb as a bag of rocks but fun.

    I like the design. I think it reflects the character’s nature as a stuntman more than any kind of super hero. It’s bright, eye-catching, and functional. The cape adds a dash of flare, but he’d probably take it off before he actually did anything dangerous.

  6. I just saw the photo of the “real” Human Fly on Warren Ellis.com and it brought back so many memories I googled for more and found this. The redesign is very very sweet. It catches the Stuntman vibe perfectly.

  7. The Six-Million Dollar Man comparison caught my eye immediately and I couldn’t help but think of just how appropriate this redesign really is.
    Y’see, Lee Majors was also the star of The Fall Guy. For those who don’t know, that was a TV show where Majors played a stuntman.
    Intentional or not, a nice homage all the same.

  8. Rick Rojatt was his name whereabouts now as big a mystery as he created in the 70′s with his stunt,comic book persona. The rework is beautifully reverential and light and some how manages to be contempory and retro at same time,not easy to achieve so brief surpassed i would say, well done!

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