Ahhh…the famous Jerry Cradle. Infamous? It has, admittedly, been a long time since we’ve seen it in use. You’d have to go all the way back to the origin of the Society of Heroes to see that! 

I don’t know about all of you, but I have yet to get sick of Atomic Fly. I can’t believe the first 400 or so episodes didn’t feature him at all. He’s just such a part of the language of the SuperFogeys for me now. His creation is mostly down to Marc. I asked him to create some new heroes for when Zurida first invaded because I wanted to fill out the cast more, arguing they were all there at Valhalla the whole time. Atomic Fly was one of the first designs he came up with, and I don’t believe that first sketch showed him upside down. That came later, when Marc drew him into a strip for the first time.

I think it was Marc who referred to him as “our Spider-Man.” He meant it in the sense that Spider-Man jokes around a lot and it was a time in the story when we really needed a character like that. I had previously cameo’ed and referred to a character in the background as “Arachno,” and he was really our (poorly conceived) Spider-Man analogue, but he was so close to the original Spider-Man that I new I could never bring him forward into the narrative. Atomic Fly, on the other hand, was, visually, based on a more obscure character, The Fly (created by Joe Simon for Archie Comics, both Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko would go on to draw him!). I don’t know anything about the Fly beyond his mid-90′s revival, so I felt free to write him in a way that suited our purposes.

Atomic Fly got pretty wacky pretty fast, and even headlined the fourth wall breaking series of Q&A strips I did years ago. He’s a bit more outlandish in his joke-making than Spider-Man ever was in that Atomic is, basically, almost never serious. Even his origin, which should read as deeply tragic, is tossed off like a joke. Is it even real???

In the end, Atomic Fly’s actual character recipe is probably The Fly+Spider-Man+Deadpool, come to think of it. Pretty weird, for a pretty weird-but-fun character. At least to me.

See you on Wednesday with 810 – Meanwhile, in Las Vegas!