All posts by Symbifan

You Will Believe a Boy Can FLY!

526477-fly1As a kid, who didn’t want to be a superhero? I know I did! I think that was the appeal to The Fly character by DC’s Impact line of comics. Journey back with me to an age where comics were fun. An age where comic movies weren’t the norm, big event titles were more of a summer thing, and heroes didn’t murder other heroes. But first, a little history on our bug-eyed friend.

The_Fly_1,_Impact_Comics,_August_1991_by_Mike_Parobeck_and_Paul_FrickeThe Fly was originally created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Archie Comics’ Red Circle line in 1959. After cancellation he was revived in 1984 under the same banner for a short time. The incarnation of the character we will be looking at will be The Fly of the 90’s. In 1991 DC had acquired the rights to all Archie superhero characters and released them under their Impact line. Though the line only lasted until 1993, many fans (including myself), still look upon this era fondly. All of the Impact characters were fun in their own way, but to me, one always seemed to stick out….The Fly!

629781Jason Troy wasn’t a troublemaker but he wasn’t exactly an honor student either. He was your typical kid. Average in most ways but full of imagination. It was during his high school Mythology class that he was found playing video games during a lecture. Caught by the teacher, he was given the assignment of creating his own superhero based on one of the Earth’s most humble creatures. Jason chose a fly. (Some punishment, huh?) The teacher was so impressed with his work, he rewarded Jason with a fossil of a fly trapped in amber. Soon after receiving this, it was discovered that the fossil possessed the strange power to in fact transform Jason into the character of his design….The Fly!

629331Wasting no time, The Fly flew into action against an attacking superpowered arsonist downtown, easily defeating him in combat! Excited but curious, Jason reverted back to normal to speak to the teacher. After all, who else would know the mystery of the fossil better than he? Upon his return, it was discovered that no one had ever heard of the strange Mythology teacher! Confused, Jason left school and embarked upon his new career as a superhero! The Fly fought many fun and unique villains throughout the title’s run. He even joined the premiere superhero team, The Crusaders, with other heroes such as The Shield, The Comet, The Jaguar, etc.

But, during a battle alongside these heroes, The Fly, along with several other heroes, disappeared into another dimension. It wasn’t until years later that he reemerged, a man! He was soon married to fellow Crusader, The Jaguar. That was about it. In 1993, all Impact titles were cancelled due to low sales. We were never to learn the secret of the mysterious fly trapped in amber. Sad. But, rather than focusing on the negative, let’s look at all of the amazing adventures he gave us. How, for a short time, all of us around the same age as the Jason Troys’ character felt what he must have felt with the power to pummel supervillains, to meet and fight side by side with other heroes, and most of all….to fly! For the short time that title lasted, we knew what it felt like to be a superhero ourselves.


Triumph and Tragedy


William MacIntyre was robbed. Robbed of his destiny. At least, that’s how he always saw it. William moved from place to place growing up. He never really had the chance to make friends his own age. Instead, he primarily kept to himself when not in the company of his mother. His father, much to William’s disgust, was a professional criminal. Life pretty much remained that way until puberty hit young William. While this is a confusing and trying time for any young adult, William couldn’t be more sure of himself. This was because, along with all of the normal changes his body exhibited, he had also gained the superhuman ability to access the electromagnetic spectrum! Added to this power, he mastered: electromagnetism, energy absorption and projection, enhanced senses, the ability to fly, invulnerability, and enhanced strength! With this rather large set of powers (and an even larger chip on his shoulder), he renamed himself Triumph and began his new life as a superhero. 

640689At this time in history, other new heroes had come out of the woodwork but all operated individually until, during an alien invasion, the time had finally come for a superhero team to be born. Who would bring them together? Who would lead them? You guessed it! Triumph! Calling such heroes as: Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and the Black Canary, Triumph led a strike against the invaders that proved completely successful, assuring victory for the planet Earth!

Triumph_Origin_01The only problem? While attacking the aliens’ energy weapons directly, Triumph had used more electromagnetic energy than he had ever before manipulated before in one powerful burst. This attack, though repelling the enemy, had created a rift in time and space, tearing him from reality and wiping him from the minds of all who had ever met him! In essence, Triumph had never existed!

Triumph_02It wasn’t until the “Zero Hour” crisis, an event that shook the foundations of the very timestream, that Triumph was released back to normal time. But, as he soon discovered, things had changed much since his time in the sun. There were no statues in his honor. No history books speaking of his sacrifice. In fact, he wasn’t even remembered period! As far as these now-legendary heroes were concerned from his era, he was just some nameless rookie! To make things worse, the invaders had followed him home. Wasting no time, he sought the help of the heroes of this time. As can be expected, it took much to convince them of this “new hero’s” sincerity. After all, he sounded like a madman while spouting off about forming the Justice League or saving the planet. But determination won out and he was eventually aided in defeating the alien creatures for good this time. But where did this leave poor forgotten William MacIntyre? Well, he tried to continue where he had left off. He was asked to join Martian Manhunter’s Justice League Task Force (jumping at the opportunity) and even went on a few solo missions.

Triumph_01But after being kicked out of the League years later for insubordination, Triumph found himself soon after selling discarded items left over from “super battles” merely to pay his rent. Yes, life had certainly taken the superhero once named Triumph, chewed him up, and spat him out. That was until the day Lkz, a magical thunderbolt from the the 5th. dimension, answered his prayers. Or rather…..seemed to. The creature gave Triumph unimaginable power and claimed that if he were to attack the new Justice League with it, the League would appear weak enough for Triumph to step in as the hero he was always meant to be and take charge. Triumph, desperate at this point, agreed. But the creature had only been preying on Triumph’s insecurities. It meant to destroy the Earth! It took the combined forces of the Justice League and the Justice Society to defeat Lkz and Triumph.

687684-triumph_ice In the end, Triumph was transformed into a block of ice by the mighty Spectre, rendering him harmless. But, as the Spectre went to smash the ice, he was stopped by the compassionate Angel, Zauriel, and instead moved to the League’s trophy room for safekeeping. This was not to be, however, as the headquarters was destroyed soon after, trophy room and Triumph included. It was a truly tragic end for a truly tragic hero. A superhero.


Death in the Family-The Death’s Head Family Tree

Death's Head II vol 1 1_kindlephoto-303255741You never find out how truly popular you are until you’re dead. At least, that’s what it was like for the time-traveling, cybernetic, bounty hunter called Death’s Head. But, for that to make sense, you have to visit the past (or would that be future?)

3017305-death's_head_(earth-trn234)_from_iron_man_vol_5_9The Death’s Head cyborg was created some time in our near future in the pocket dimension of Styrakos. Originally built to house the consciousness of his creator, Lupex, the mechanized being soon slew his “father” and set up shop as a “freelance peacekeeping agent” for pay (or bounty hunter for those brave enough to call him that!). He went on to create quite a reputation until, as with all things, he finally met his match.

3f75f9a109e9cdd1c450e5e6f7374c9fEnter the Minion cyborg. Minion, created in the year 2020 by the scientist, Dr. Evelyn Necker of A.I.M, was built to destroy a future threat to the universe, Charnel. To do this, Minion was supposed to kill each subject in it’s database and absorb the subject’s abilities/knowledge. It did this successfully until it came into contact with Death’s Head. After a fierce battle, Minion actually defeated the bounty hunter but, when attempting to absorb his traits, accidentally absorbed Death’s Head’s entire personality! The process was so complete in fact, Minion, by all counts and purposes now was Death’s Head! Now with a new, more brutal and sophisticated body, (plus a sexy, female sidekick named Tuck) Death’s Head II went back to business as usual. It wasn’t until two other cyborgs, Death Wreck and Death Metal, appeared on the scene, that the idea of an actual family dynamic was introduced.

DEATH HA JAN94Let’s begin with Death Wreck. A prototype for the Minion cyborg, created with mostly junk, car parts, and a poor homeless wino for the frame, this cyborg was accidentally reactivated by a man searching for Death’s Head II. Dimwitted and with a drinking problem from his previous life, this creature was built for power. Next, would be the Death Metal cyborg. This being was created from living, liquid metal from an alternate timeline. Originally seen as more of a villain type, Death Metal soon got its mind to function properly and became a hero when it truly counted. This cyborg had the ability to create bladed objects or energy-firing weapons anywhere on its body. A true living weapon!

Death_3_Vol_1_1All three of the “Brothers Grim” operated solo for a short time, but came together against the resurfacing threat of Charnel, cooperating as a team (or family?) to defeat him once and for all, saving the universe. Little is known what happened to the “Death’s Head family” after that day. I, personally, would like to think they remained together but, as with even non-cybernetic families, this may not have been the way things turned out in the end. Well, there you have it. One cyborg is destroyed, and a family is born from the ashes. But a family, be it genetic or cybernetic, is still a family nonetheless.ff4f12a1b2901b055548b722b969f83b