Comic books have been a major part of entertainment for over 80 years. In that time period, we’ve been introduced to a plethora of characters that have become household names, such as Superman, Captain America, Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder-Woman, and the Hulk.
We’ve also been introduced to some of the greatest villains, like Magneto, the Joker, Dr. Doom, and Lex Luthor. For every great character introduced, we’ve come across some that were less-than-memorable, to say the least.
While some of these characters were one-hit wonders who disappeared entirely, others went through more gimmick changes than a failed professional wrestler in the mid-90s. We’ve decided it’s time these characters were given the respect (acknowledgement of existence) they rightfully deserve! This is “Where Are They Now: Forgotten Comic Book Characters.”
The Human Fly is a very interesting character, in that he was based off of real-life stuntman (and alleged con man) Rick Rojatt. If you have time to check it out, Rojatt’s story is pretty wild in its own right.
The Human Fly, whose real name is… unknown… was born in… some place. Okay, this is getting off to a rough start.
So, anyway, some guy was in a car accident in North Carolina. Tragically, the crash killed his family and left “John Doe” in the hospital for weeks. After several surgeries, more than 60% of his bone structure was replaced by steel.
Having been informed by doctors that he would be permanently paralyzed, John Doe tirelessly trained his body back to full functionality and beyond. With his newfound bone strength and athletic prowess, he took on the costume and mantle of The Human Fly (not to be confused with the supervillain of the same name).
The Fly utilized his new abilities well. He performed at several charity auctions, even playing in a band at a benefit concert. He also thwarted criminals who attempted to rob the events. Though he never gained much notoriety, he did find himself rubbing elbows with some of Marvel’s other heroes such as Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, and White Tiger.
Unfortunately for the Human Fly, his comic book was cancelled after issue 19. This coincided with the disappearance of his real-life counterpart following a botched attempt to jump 27 buses. Whether the mob had an insurance policy on Rojatt for just such an occasion remains the subject of rumors to this day.
This makes the Human Fly’s legacy a bit complicated. Was he merely a con man, as many claim his counterpart to have been? It’s hard to separate what’s real from what isn’t. Either way, the Human Fly has quite the interesting story.
So, where is the Human Fly now?
Comics have remained mostly silent since the story was cancelled in 1979. The last known mention of this odd superhero occurred as a brief bio in Marvel Encyclopedia Volume 1: Marvel Knights in 2004.
However, despite this character’s mysterious absence from mainstream consciousness, rumors of a Human Fly movie surfaced as recently as 2012.
If his strange and real-life-inspired disappearance sets the stage for a good enough comeback story, perhaps someday we’ll hear more from this long-forgotten hero.