Comic Book Coffee, number 117: The Fly #1 (1983)

Comic Book Coffee, number 117: The Fly #1, penciled, inked & lettered by James Sherman, plotted by Jack C. Harris, scripted & edited by Rich Buckler, and colored by Barry Grossman, published by Archie Comics / Red Circle in May 1983.

Red Circle was Archie Comics’ interesting but unfortunately short-lived revival of their superhero properties in the early 1980. The Fly, for example, only ran for nine issues, although as with the rest of the Red Circle books, boasted an impressive line-up of creators.

In this first issue of The Fly we have a pair of interesting coffee-drinking pages:

On the first one Kim Brand, the former Fly Girl and now an actress, is having coffee after a location shoot when she learns via the newspaper that the Fly has returned. Considering the Fly is her long-time boyfriend Thomas Troy, obviously Kim is perturbed that she had to learn about his returned to costumed vigilantism via the media.

On the second one the Fly in his civilian alter-ego of attorney Thomas Troy is burning the midnight oil in his office. His secretary brings him a cup of coffee and attempts to talk with him, but he’s too wrapped up in his work, and the argument he had with Kim earlier, to even pay attention.

Both of these pages are excellent examples of James Sherman’s distinctive storytelling & artwork. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Sherman is an incredibly talented artist who has, regrettably, only occasionally worked in comic books. Much of his career has been spent doing movie storyboards and graphic design. (He created the iconic logo of supermarket chain ShopRite).

Sherman’s most significant body of work in comic books was his year and a half long run on Legion of Super-Heroes for DC Comics in the late 1970s. Regrettably he only drew the first issue of the Red Circle revival of The Fly. His other credits include Uncanny X-Men #151 (1981), Alpha Flight #83 (1990) and Silver Surfer #39 (1990) for Marvel, the creator-owned miniseries The Transmutation of Ike Garuda written by Elaine Lee and published by Marvel’s Epic Comics line (1991), and a story in Elaine Lee’s second volume of erotic sci-fi anthology Skin Tight Orbit (1995) from NBM / Amerotica.

If you can find a copy of Glenn Cadigan’s excellent book The Legion Companion it contains an in-depth interview with James Sherman about his career.

Tom Brevoort recently offered a retrospective on The Fly #1 on his blog.


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