Original Printing: Lion Annual 1970
Sometimes you can just tell that the title of a story came first. Sadly, it just about sums up the amount of imagination in this thing. The plot is very formulaic - the Spider is getting tired of humiliating mere crooks, wants more of a challenge, up pops a colourful villain, villain is then hammered by the Spider. For some reason, the Fly, with his fly costume, fly minions and fly-shaped ship that uses fly paper to kidnap Pelham, seems sillier than even Siegel's more arcane villains.
It's possibly because there's absolutely no reason for him being all into flies. I mean, if you're a criminal genius with the ability to create a flying ship and a set of flapping wings, why would you choose to be The Fly, as opposed to, I dunno, The Hawk or The Owl or The Hornet, or in fact The Anything With Wings That Isn't A Fly Because Nobody, But Nobody Wants To Be A Fly. The only time the name would be useful would be if you wanted to set yourself up for a fall by taking on a superior opponent who goes by the alias 'The Spider'.
Thankfully, while the character's opponents may have declined in quality, the man himself hasn't. The Fly gets a bit of glory defeating the guards of Rajah of Jumnore (not a supervillain, but a rich Eastern type, from what I guess is a fictitious country, seeing as Google is just coming up with lesbian sex cam banter) and nicking all his gold. Then the Spider arrives and turns the tables on him in about a page. It's hardly exciting - indeed, it notably misses the breathless pace of most Spider adventures, something which often patches over silliness - and the prose lacks panache. Overall, it falls into the trap of being a very dull filler story.
|"The Spider Meets The Fly"|