A Montreal-based superhero ‘The Human Fly’ is making a comeback

“He's back today,” said Tony Babinski, president of Human Fly International, about the return of The Human Fly, the 1970s superhero from Montreal, in a new series of comic books. Gareth Madoc-Jones reports.

A Montreal-based Canadian superhero who performed as a masked stuntman is making his return in a new comic book series. First appearing in Marvel Comics in the 1970s, The Human Fly is back in action in a new series with the first issue being released this week.

Tony Babinski, who is in charge of overseeing the new series as well as contributing to stories about the classic character says The Human Fly is relatable because it is based on a real person and real city.

“The Human Fly was a real life daredevil who appeared in the late 1970s he became famous by flying on the back of DC-8 jet planes in air shows in California,” Babinski said.

“What makes our story different from all superhero properties is that it’s real. Something really happened. And you can’t say that about Batman or Spider-Man.”

Babinski said in the original version of The Human Fly, one of the highlights of the superhero’s career was a failed attempt at Evel Knievel’s record by jumping over 26 school buses on a jet-powered motorcycle inside Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

The new comic is in stores everywhere July 10, and reboots the character in a new story that takes inspiration from the original, with The Human Fly attempting yet another death defying stunt on top of the Olympic Stadium.

A Montreal-based Canadian superhero that first appeared in Marvel Comics in the 1970s is making a comeback. Tony Babinski, who is in charge of overseeing this new series said this is just the beginning of The Human Fly’s return as there are also plans for a feature film. (Gareth Madoc Jones/CityNews Montreal)

“I got involved in this project initially as a script writer and then producer because I ended up purchasing the rights to the character from the rights holder,” Babinski said. “Since then I’ve been overseeing with my partner Alan Brewer in Los Angeles the development of the character across all media.”

Babinski said he’s been a fan of the comic and character since he was 12-years-old when he first bought a issue, and what gravitated to him was that the character was based in Montreal and was capable of doing grueling stunts.

“I was a big comic book fan and I just, I couldn’t, it was so unreal that there was a real superhero,” he said.

Calling it a complete Montreal story, Babinski said the events, characters, and location are all based in Montreal with the cities skyline featured on the cover. He said that one of the intriguing elements is that there is some mystery surrounding the character.

“This is definitely a complete, a totally Montreal story,” Babinski said. “If people are near a comic shop in Montreal, they should get it, they’ll recognize the city and the location in it.” (Tehosterihens Deer/CityNews Montreal)

“We don’t know much about him other than what we see,” Babinski said. “So there’s a lot of mystery on the character, ‘How did he become who he is?’ ‘What did he suffer?’ There’s hints of that in the Marvel Comics series and we’ll be bringing that into our stories as well.”

Babinski said this project has been years in the making and is happy to be at this stage with the character in finally bringing him back to the public and into the modern world.

Adding to the local element, Babinski said the comicbook features a new stunt at the Olympic Stadium where The Human Fly rides a motorcycle on top of the tower. (Tehosterihens Deer/CityNews)

“He’s back today, so the question is how can that guy from the 1970s still be around and still be agile and still be able to do what he does,” he said. “We will answer that question in the fullness of time.” 

With the comic book releasing this week, Babinski said the series is just the beginning of The Human Fly’s return, as current plans on developing a feature film are being made. Babinski also said it will be honoring the real life daredevils with Canadian director Stephen Campanelli being attached to the project.

“The film that we’re making deals a lot with what happened in real life in the 1970s. But it’s meta,” he said. “[So] The Human Fly as a fictional character is also in it but it’s a comedy that’s principally concerned with what actually happened, who those guys were and what they did.”

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