Wednesday, 12 June 2013

If I Fail Now The Fly Dies!

Welcome to part 9 of

Where we get the key to Ted Locke's double amputation courtesy of a flash back where in the Vietnam war Ted is planning to blow up a bridge when a innocent mother and child enter into the area - without any hesitation Ted runs into the fray and looses his hands as a consequence in this next recreated page…

If you was with me last week I shared the first part of "The Rocketman" aka Ky Michaelson's story of his experience building a rocket powered motorbike for the Human Fly , a story which appears in full on his own website

As well as linking the Human Fly to Rick Rojatt, Last time Ky himself was expressing concern for the stunt going as far to say "it wasn't that there wouldn't be a crash, for I was certain there would be. It was just a matter of how bad it would be…"

With that established we continue with Ky's story:-

"The guy was determined, and since my business at the time was working with stunt people, daredevils, and people with death wishes, I remained intrigued and as optimistic as possible, praying I wouldn't fall witness to the hand of death "swatting" the Human Fly. I became even more concerned when I received a phone call from an insurance broker, Bruce McCaw, who called to thank me as he told me I was responsible for throwing a lot of business his way. When I asked him what he meant by that, he told me he'd just issued a life insurance policy on the Human Fly, and that Lee Taylor had been a client of his, as well. That really got me thinking.

As we prepared for this stunt, it soon became obvious that one of the biggest challenges we faced was the space constraint in the arena; there was no room to accelerate to the speed required, so I came up with a plan. I'd build a rocket-powered motorcycle that would sit right at the bottom of the ramp instead of making the usual fast and furious approach. All the Fly would have to do was get on, wave to the crowd, press the button, say a quick prayer, and hang on for dear life!!

Rick liked the idea, and agreed to try it, so he sent me a brand new 1977 Harley Davidson XL-1000 Sportster, a true black beauty, to build from. I put exactly three miles on it, and then the fun began. I yanked out the engine and built two 1,500-lb. thrust hydrogen peroxide rockets, which I mounted one on top of the other, directly underneath the fuel tank. Other than the two polished stainless steel rocket motors hanging off the back of the bike, I left everything else intact, including the headlight and taillight, to make it look completely stock. By the time I finished, this refined machine boasted 6,000 HP. In other words, if a guy were to take this thing out to the local drag strip, hold the throttle wide open, and hang on hoping the tires didn't fall right off? He'd be capable of going well over 300 mph in the ¼ mile."

The finished bike looked like this:-
Next week we will hear from Ky how The Human Fly felt that practice made perfect…

As before I would like to remind you all that the following appears with very kind thanks and much appreciation to Bill Coffin

You can read the entire article here and of course it comes highly recommended

Take it away Bill Coffin!:-

"There were other problems, too. Because he was writing so fast, and under tight deadlines, Mantlo was known to rehash stories that had already run in earlier issues, or crib an idea too closely from another source while searching for a storyline to develop. Mantlo was hardly the only Marvel writer to do this, but he was one of the few who caused some problems along the way. In one case, while scripting an issue of the Incredible Hulk, Mantlo borrowed from an Outer Limits episode written by Harlan Ellison. Ellison called Shooter to complain, and settled things for a standard writer’s payment for the issue, an acknowledgement in a later issue’s letters page, and a lifetime subscription to all Marvel comics.

In another case—and one that remains a point of debate within comic book fan circles—Mantlo was accused of plagiarizing an unfinished story treatment written by artist Barry Windsor-Smith, again for the Incredible Hulk. Shooter’s version of the story is that Windsor-Smith had brought to the Marvel office an unfinished treatment for a story explaining the origin of Bruce Banner, the Hulk’s mild-mannered, but easily enraged, alter ego. Shooter wanted to buy the story on the spot, but Windsor-Smith insisted on finishing it first, and he left rough drafts behind. Mantlo, while visiting the Marvel office, found Windsor-Smith’s work, figured it was open for use, and wrote a story off of it. The Incredible Hulk itself was between editors, and the story’s lineage was not noticed until the issue was in print. The story remains one of Mantlo’s most popular, and it was developed as a core element of the script for the 2003 film adaptation of the Hulk. Windsor-Smith never stopped holding a grudge over it.

“He did a tremendous amount of good work for us,” Shooter says, stressing that Mantlo’s good far outweighed his bad. “The nice thing about Bill was that other writers could be picky fanboys, but Bill would do anything. Book about a stuntman? Sure. Book on a toy? Sure. And he gave it a good effort, no matter what it was. He could do any job and he was always polite, always nice. You couldn’t help but like him.”

Next week: Preparation for the Rocket bike stunt and more Tragic Tale!

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