Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Story Of The Human Fly

I knew of the comic book but had no idea that the Human Fly was a actual guy and a stuntman during the 70s when daredevils like Evel Knievel were all the rage. Evel had one of the greatest toy lines of all time. (Note to self - do another post about Evel Knievel Toys)

“Every time we thought we were getting nearer the truth, there’d be another twist which just seemed too insane to be credible,” Tony Babinski says. “But there’s something in this peculiar story that resonates with everyone who has risked their neck for a dream, or watched in horror as someone else did it.”
The night of that ill-fated final jump at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, The Human Fly crash-landed three or four buses short of the receiving ramp and Michaelson’s $60,000 bike (at today’s prices) landed on top of him, while Michaelson and his team looked on in horror.
Though paramedics raced to the scene, and The Fly was stretchered off to hospital with many fearing the worst, no one has ever found out what happened to the masked daredevil. The Human Fly disappeared from public view that night.
So who was The Fly? And who was financing his bid for glory? And why? And were the circumstances around his disappearance as sinister as some people suspect?
“I’ve been in this business 50 years. The Fly is as weird as it got,” Michaelson says. “He wanted to be a superhero. But to this day, I believe that other people wanted him dead.”
Thanks to the Dork Review for first directing me to this story.
The Human Fly was a young man of unknown identity who was severely injured during a car crash. After a long hospitalization, including a number of reconstructive surgeries in which much of his skeleton was replaced by steel, he took on the masked identity of the Human Fly. As the Human Fly, he performed daredevil stunts to benefit various charities, especially those helping children with disabilities.
His activities often drew him into conflict with criminals, who were often seeking to rob the charity events at which he performed. Additionally, he drew the attention of Spider-Man, who thought he might be the villain who shared the same name.
The character was based on real-life stuntman Rick Rojatt. The comic book carried the tag line "The Wildest Super-Hero Ever — Because He's Real!", and photographs of someone in a Human Fly costume appeared in the books. Jim Shooter, Marvel's former editor-in-chief and a member of their editorial staff at the time of publication, said in a 2007 interview that the photos were indeed of Rojatt.

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