Saturday, January 10, 2009

Volume Three, Number Twenty-three

A Historical Overview
of the
MLJ Magazines/Archie Comic Publications
Superhero Lines
Part Twelve

As mentioned in the last installment of this serial, The Fly made his final appearance in Adventures of The Fly #30 (cover-dated October, 1964) resulting in the few remaining followers of the by then semi-annual title to believe he was gone forever. However, five months later a house ad in The Shadow #5 (March, 1965) announced that a new version of The Fly-now called Fly Man-was on the way. Two months after that, Fly Man #31 (titled Adventures of The Fly in the indica and cover-dated May, 1965) hit the stands.

The cover of the new and improved Fly-title was a definite winner. There appeared Fly Man on his knees from an apparent loss of powers and swinging down to assist him were The Black Hood, the Silver Age Shield, and someone who appeared to be The Comet from Adventures of The Fly #30 (see part eleven of this serial) but who later turned out to be an amalgam of that Comet and the original Comet who was supposedly shot down way back in Pep Comics #17. Inside, the four heroes who were on the cover, along with Fly Girl, teamed up in a book-length tale titled "The Fly Man's Partners In Perl!" to battle The Spider, Fly/Fly Man's main foe who debuted way back in Adventures of The Fly #1.

Fly Man and his pals were, of course, victorious, and at the end of their premiere adventure together readers were asked if they wanted to see more team-ups of these heroes. The folks at Archie Comic Publications must have been a tad impatient regarding their wait to see if readers did in fact want to see more of The Comet, Fly Man, Fly Girl, The Shield and The Black Hood working together, as from that point on in every issue of the bi-monthly Fly Man (which was published until and including issue number 39) the Archie folks' Silver Age five-some-who collectively became known as The Mighty Crusaders-appeared either in pairs or as a team. While readers of this comic weren't aware of it at the time Fly Man #31 was the beginning of the comics line that eventually became known as The Mighty Comics Group.


NEXT: Jerry Seigel's return.

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