The Death-Defying Human FlyCast #10—. . . Dark as a Dungeon Down in the Mine!

It's the halfway point in the saga of The Human Fly, and who better to mark this issue of coal minin' calamity than the inestimable Chris Franklin! Chris joins your host Max Romero for The Human Fly #10 and a tale of stuntmen, unions, finger-pickin', and the brutality of a good melee in the great state of Kentucky. And don't forget to catch a ride on the Human Fly Van! That's a big 10-4, good buddy!

Let's get wild!

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Opening theme: “Human Fly” by The Cramps
Closing music: "Dark as a Dungeon" by Merle Travis
Bonus music: "Look for the Union Label", written by Paula Green and Malcolm Dodds for the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union

Check out the gallery for this issue here!

10 responses to “The Death-Defying Human FlyCast #10—. . . Dark as a Dungeon Down in the Mine!

  1. Well done on another fun episode, everyone! It’s always a treat to listen to Chris (and his toys!) and I’m loving getting to know about these issues. Having said that, I want to say that this story didn’t seem as crazy as the previous issues? It definitely was an entertaining issue, but there was no shark and/or bear wrestling. This really could have been an episode of Fall Guy or the Greatest American Hero and I would have watched the heck out of it!

    I agree with Chris, Lee Elias draws a really excellent old man! In fact, all his pencils are fantastic for this issue.

    This was super fun and I’m looking forward to the next issue. Keep up the great work!

  2. So glad this show as back!

    I loved Chris’ “Mater” voice. He is the network’s Frank Welker. Being from New Jersey, I can understand how it might irritate to see your home state always being portrayed in popular culture as just one (usually negative) way. Maybe Mantlo had some connection to the area? Or (more likely) he was just a good writer.

    As you both mentioned, the cover is quite striking, with its muted colors. It is too bad the HF is no longer Marvel’s to use, as Chris suggested I can see him as a supporting player in other MCU books.

    Great episode!

  3. Great job, guys!

    Re: your discussion of Human Fly being a supporting character in another book (like Daredevil): I don’t really see the feasibility unless the character went through a major change. Because (1) the fact that he always travels performing stunts would make it hard to fit him in with a lead character who is based in one location (2) he’s made it clear that he does not consider himself a “super hero” – he’s a stuntman who happens to do heroic things, (3) he’s got a whole support team of his own that he’d have to bring along with him, and (4) he’s all about raising money for charities, not chasing down baddies. For these reasons, I don’t see him as a fit in another series. Unless – again – they completely changed the character, dropped his support team, gave up on travelling, and just made him another guy in a funny suit, fighting crooks.

    1. I think we were talking about using the Fly more in cameo roles than an ongoing supporting role. Otherwise, yeah, I agree, the character would have to drop everything that makes the Human Fly unique, and what’s the point of that?

  4. fun episode guys, but wish you hadn’t made it so political…
    Seriously, a good conversation and I love listening to the death defying human flycast because it reminds me of stories that I have long forgotten; many of the other comics that are my “favorites” I have read more than once. But Human Fly, I had those issues and read them at the time, but have no recollection! So lots of fun.
    And just from the gallery post, I am impressed by Lee Elias who had to be getting up there by this time.

  5. Another great issue, which certainly makes for another great episode. And Chris is always a treat.
    I loved that you guys got a little more in depth regarding the subject matter and what was going on in the US during this time. Interesting stuff.
    Although the issues that feature other Marvel U guest stars (Ghost Rider, DD, White Tiger) are some of my very favorites of this run, a more down to earth, personal and political issue like this one ranks right up there as well. Really solid.
    Mr. Mantlo is probably my all time favorite comics writer. Even if he wasn’t the industry’s very best, his books definitely shaped my comic book loving experiences more than any other. #InMantloWeTrust
    I’m looking forward to at least 10 more wonderful episodes, and then I’ll be very sad… until the documentary finally comes out and we get a bonus episode! Woohoo!
    A man can dream.

  6. Sorry I’m so late with this comment, Max and Chris. I actually have a lot to say, and taking the time to write it all seemed daunting. See my grandfather and his father and other relatives on that side of the family dug coal on the southern end of the Appalachians, hundreds of miles away from Kentucky, but in similar terrain and circumstances. My great-grandfather lived with black lung until he died in his seventies.

    Let’s see if I’ve managed to summarize my thoughts yet.

    I think this is the best issue and the best episode thus far. It shows the whole team acting heroically against a very real threat — one that’s contemporary to the time, but familiar to us, too. Others have rightly praised Lee Elias’s impressive and evocative work here. The Human Fly’s reaction when he sees the thug leaving with the gun reminds me of many of the special operators I’ve supported — people who are protective enough to want to do something, concerned enough to meddle, and confident (arrogant?) enough to think they can, even if they aren’t armed.

    I also appreciated the heroism and resourcefulness (and even just plain anger) of the miners on display here. And it’s good that Mantlo and Elias portray the effects of the fight realistically. If someone’s using a pickax, someone’s leaving on a litter.

    You two did a great job covering all this. I’m really enjoying this podcast. Keep up the great work!


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