The Death-Defying Human FlyCast #5 — Fire in the Night!

Is it getting hot in here, or is it just The Human Fly?!?

If you can take the heat, join your host Max Romero and very special guest Siskoid as they scale the towering inferno that is The Human Fly #5! Will The Fly manage to save a group of children (and Harmony!) from the roof of a burning skyscraper? How can a septuagenarian former aerialist be so buff?  And what are the chances The Human Fly and our elderly villain would ... recognize each other?! All this and Siskoid's smoldering disdain for Quebec are explored in this episode!

Let’s get wild!

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Opening theme: “Human Fly” by The Cramps
Closing music: "Disco Inferno" by The Trammps
Dialogue from: "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist"

Check out the gallery for this issue here!

15 responses to “The Death-Defying Human FlyCast #5 — Fire in the Night!

  1. Fun discussion, and I think we’re slowly learning the Secret Origin of Siskoid across several shows lately.

    The Human Fly using his swagger stick/sceptre/baton to launch a grapple line is a LOT like Daredevil and his Billy Club, yes? And he’s dressed all in red…

    Speaking of which, until the heavy Canadian content, I never thought about it, but the Human Fly seems to be rocking the Canadian colors, doesn’t he?

    Frank Robbins! I had a complex relationship with his stuff as a kid. Part of me saw it as ugly, but I got the dynamism of it right away. The later eventually overcame the former.


  2. Thanks for another fun episode with extra Canadian content! Makes me crave Tim Hortons coffee, despite never having had any before.

    I enjoyed the discussion of The Human Fly’s identity and how that secret affected his readability. It’s true that the Batman stories that Siskoid mentioned — where Bruce Wayne is unmentioned or irrelevant — work. However, I think the ones where he comes across as more human work better. My favorite Batman interpretations have an active life and real relationships as Bruce Wayne. They make it easier to relate to the icon, and I care more about the character and what happens in his stories.

    Most of what we have for The Human Fly is his inner monologue and what we see him say and do. That’s enough, but if he were a current character, I would look forward to more. Wolverine may be a better example of how to handle a character with secrets — releasing them in dribs and drabs over a period of decades, so that we valued each revelation. If The Human Fly had continued and the butcher shop that owned the character had allowed it, maybe that’s the way this would have gone. The antagonist in this story was certainly in that vein.

    Looking forward to next month’s wild adventure!

  3. Now I know why I never got a thank you note from Siskoid after I sent him that jar of peanuts for Xmas.

    Like Lee Elias, Frank Robbins is one of those guys whose work I love now, not so much when I was a kid. With his crazy body poses, he’s a great fit for the Human Fly.

    As someone who did “fancast” Johnny Knoxville as the Human Fly, I didn’t think of it as “cynical”, as Siskoid describes. I think Knoxville has tried to stretch a bit in non-Jackass projects, and now that he’s older I think he’d have the sufficient real world experience for a part like this. I mean, this is a guy who has broken many, many bones trying to entertain people, just like our hero.

  4. This was a fantastic show, Max! You and Siskoid had some great insights into this issue and it’s definitely whetting my appetite to find these back issues. But, even if I never listened to this episode, I would have wanted to buy this issue for the amazing cover! If I had seen this as a kid, I would have definitely picked it up….. or more appropriately bugged my parents to get it for me. It’s so incredibly dynamic and makes you want to know what happens inside.

    But what happens inside, yowza! As bonkers as some of the past issues have been, this one seemed more…. I don’t know, dramatic? Serious? It’s still kind of crazy but it takes itself a little more seriously and feels less kooky than the last issue. But it’s still loaded with fun! Maybe Mantlo was trying to cash in on the Towering Inferno/disaster movie craze.

    Siskoid had some great insights into the building in the comic, and even though I’ve never been to Quebec (it’s on my bucket list!), I would also say there is a slight resemblance to a building in downtown in Vancouver, as well, with it’s almost square, geometric windows going all the way up and the slope at the bottom (1075 W Georgia St, Vancouver). I’m sure a lot of buildings in the ’70’s had the same concrete jungle vibe to them so maybe I’m just grasping at straws here. Mantlo’s Canada really is a generic Canada!

    While we still don’t know who the Human Fly is, but I’m starting to learn a lot more about who Siskoid is! What a story about your short time in Montréal! I’m wondering if we should just have a show on the network about Siskoid’s life.

    This was tons of fun and I’m already looking forward to the next episode! Keep up the great work!

  5. Something I failed to mention during the broadcast: Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 8th – which seems a dangerous time of year to go tightrope-walking between the Sears and Empire State buildings… No wonder the guy fell off.

    1. 7th, but your point definitely stands. To a southerner like me, it seems a dangerous time of year to be outside that long in Canada.

    2. 7th, but your point definitely stands, and you already know more American history than most Americans, Siskoid. To a southerner like me, it seems a dangerous time of year just to be outside that long in Canada.

    3. I did not mean to send that twice. I’m sick and a little spaced out. But I like the second version where I recognize your vast knowledge better.

  6. One more thing — 23:30 into the first episode of Marvel’s Behind the Mask on Disney+, Stan and Archie Goodwin are shown discussing the Human Fly and his supporting cast.

  7. The thing about the whole “never knowing the Fly’s secret identity thing” that I find most humorous:
    1. They are forced into showing him constantly in costume, even when he’s just doing mundane things in future issues, like hanging out in the back of his van, doing something no sane person would do while wearing the costume (I’m being vague to avoid spoilers!).
    2. The descriptions we hear of his magical face in the first issue and more so in some later issues, make it sound like he’s Jesus. He apparently has this awesome face, that immediately inspires trust and loyalty. It really makes me wonder how he might have used this svengali-like power of his before his accident! Also, makes it even funnier to read such passages, and then watch clips of the “real” Fly, whose manner of speaking is more that of an impatient, easily-angered nut job. 🙂

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