Brand Echh – Fly Man #38

Hey, it’s been a while since we last dropped in on my favorite of the Archie/Mighty Comics heroes, the hen-pecked Web. So let’s see what he’s been up to.

As with the previous installments–and, really, all of the various Mighty Comics releases–the story is a painful rip-off attempting to channel the Marvel style of the mid-1960s, in particular the Stan Lee style of dialogue. It’s impossible to say at this point whether the attempt was being done genuinely or whether there was an element of parody baked in–I suspect that the truth was that the creators were trying to duplicate the Marvel approach as closely as they were able to but simply didn’t have the skill or the belief in it to pull it off genuinely. Just look at that ridiculously lengthy opening blurb. The Grand Comics Database credits the writing on this installment to Jerry Siegel, and the artwork to Paul Reinman. (They’re credited on the lead Fly Man story as Jerry Ess and Paul Arr respectively, in emulation of Stan Lee.)

These comics are absolutely dumb, but they’re dumb in an incredibly entertaining way if you can approach them on the right level. They do work as an almost unintentional commentary on the Marvel approach.

And this moment, were John Raymond accidentally locks himself in a closet, is a wonderful misunderstanding of the sorts of foibles that the Marvel characters displayed. It’s so tone-deaf that it’s funny (but not on the level that it’s trying to be.)

“Instead of articulation…perspiration…” is maybe the most self-descriptive line in the entire Mighty Comics canon.

If this was a TV show, Buck Henry would have produced it.

That’s right, the Web tickled Fatman into submission! What a hero!

Who didn’t see this coming?

It’s an absolutely bananas series, but I love it to pieces.

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