Real Name: Arthur Reynolds
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Occupation: None; formerly worked as a restorer of priceless works of art
Group Memberbership: None; former employee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art<
Affiliations: Worked with
"Rembrandt" Rico and his gang (Ace, Cooper, and
formerly supervised by Margarita Mercado (museum curator) and Mr. Wylie (museum curator)
Enemies: Daredevil, Human Fly, Margarita Mercado, White Tiger (Hector Ayayla), Mr. Wylie
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Manhattan, New York City
First Appearance: Human Fly#8 (April, 1978)
Powers/Abilities: Copperhead wore a bulletproof suit of copper armor which granted him superhuman strength, around the enhanced human level, and greatly increased his resistance to blunt injury. The suit had no insulation against electrical or other energy assaults, however. The suit apparently contained a voice alteration device causing him to speak with a pronounced hiss. He also carried pneumatically-powered copper pistols, from which he fired copperhead-venom or tranquilizer darts, and could use the pneumatic capsules from his weaponry to blow open locks.
Like both his predecessor and the pulp character on whom they were based, he put copper pennies over dead victims eyes, "to pay the fare across the River Styx."
(Human Fly#9 (fb)) - Reynolds worked at restoring priceless works of art for year, but felt that younger, inexperienced nobodies were being advanced over him. Frustrated, he had begun to make plans to steal a giant urn of great value on which he had been working. His plans were discovered by Mr. Wylie, the curator of the museum, but Reynolds maintained his silence by promising to cut him in on the wealth he would attain.
While working on a valuable giant urn, he learned that one of his co-workers, Lawrence Chesney, had been the criminal known as Copperhead, would had apparently perished in battle. Figuring Chesney would have kept a spare costume, Reynolds raided Chesney's apartment, beating the police to the site, and found a stole his duplicate costume.
As Copperhead, Reynolds confronted Wylie and demanded the money he needed to carry out his plans to get the gigantic urn out of the museum undetected. Wylie dared not deny him.
(Human Fly#8) - Copperhead, his plans now ready to begin, killed Wylie anyway, since he no longer needed him. A student, Hector Ayayla, heard the strange hisssss of Copperhead's dart gun, and found Wylie's body. Naturally, the guards walked in and assumed Hector had killed Wylie, and they went after him. The guards began shooting when they saw a flash of light (Ayayla's transformation into the White Tiger). Copperhead had intended for the commotion to clear the museum out, but a group of schoolchildren touring the museum took refuge beside the very urn he sought. Not long afterwards, both the White Tiger, and the stuntman Human Fly (who had done a show outside the museum as a promotional event) saw and went after Copperhead.
The criminal turned a hidden switch and activated a device he had installed in advance, beginning the process of lowering the urn through the ground and into an underground tunnel. The Human Fly went to protect the kids, while the Tiger stayed to take on Copperhead. Reynolds' armor protected him from the White Tiger's attacks, and enabled him to hold off the vigilante until he got hit him with poison darts.
As the White Tiger slumped to the floor, the Human Fly realized that the water level in the tunnel was rising--Copperhead was flooding it with waters from the Hudson river--and that he and the kids might soon drown. And Copperhead laughed ever so sinisterly.
(Human Fly#9) - Copperhead shrugged off gunfire from the guards, but it delayed him long enough that the White Tiger, having neutralized the poison by turning back into Hector, could attack anew. Meanwhile, per Reynolds' plan, the rising water caused the urn to begin to float down the tunnel. The Fly saved the kids and himself by having everyone get inside the urn and ride it to safety.
The White Tiger tackled Copperhead into the underground tunnel and they floated down the tunnel as well. Despite the fact that the White Tiger was the only thing keeping him from sinking in his heavy armor, Copperhead continued his efforts to kill him. As they approached solid ground, Copperhead punched the Tiger away and took off.
The giant urn floated down to a subway construction park, where Copperhead's partners in crime, Rembrandt Rico and his gang, were waiting. However, they did not expect to find the urn filled with kids and the Human Fly. Just then Daredevil, having been on the trail of "Rembrandt," swung down and attacked the criminals. Daredevil chased off the criminals and went after them, but then the Copperhead arrived, and held everyone in the urn at his mercy. The museum's other curator, Margarita Mercado, managed to identify the Copperhead as Reynolds, and he then explained his whole background and plan, just like a good little super-villain.
The Human Fly and White Tiger teamed up on Copperhead, who was more than powerful enough to fight them off. Angered at all of the complications with his plan, Copperhead announced his plan to kill Mercado and the kids in the urn. This didn't sit well with the few remaining members of Rembrandt's gang, and they shot at Copperhead to stop him from killing the kids. With Copperhead off balance, the Human Fly managed to knock him over by throwing his baton. As he stumbled, the White Tiger kicked out his leg, and Copperhead fell off the pier into the river, sinking like a man wearing copper armor.
Later, when the cops drained the shaft, all they found was the urn and Copperhead's dart-gun.
Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo and Frank Robbins.
Reynolds first name was not given in these issues, nor was it revealed in the Marvel Comics Index. It was given as Arthur in the clarifications for the Davis Lawfers Copperhead in the OHotMU Master Edition.
Copperhead's plan was...crappy. He intended the
commotion to evacuate the museum, and the cops chasing and
shooting at the White Tiger did clear out most people. However,
how the frick would he have known that a superhero, in his
civilian secret identity, would happen upon the body, and that
the cops would have found and shot at said hero. Then there's the
giant urn. Where are ya gonna keep or sell that thing? Oh yeah,
and floodwaters and rapid travel, bouncing off of cement walls
doesn't do anything to diminish the value of an antique.
These issues were weak, although they may be the high point in the Human Fly series.
What to say about the Human Fly? He's a real world stuntman, Rick Rojatt, that was crippled in a car crash back in 1971. Nearly every bone was broken, and doctors were sure he'd never move again. He triumphed over his disability and went on to become a stuntman again. The comic book character, @ 1977, was based on the real world character, and appearances by Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, White Tiger, and others placed the series within the Marvel Universe.
He posed as:
The stuntman Human Fly has no known connection to:
Human Fly#8 (April, 1978) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), New York Tribe (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Human Fly#9 (May, 1978) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Last updated: 02/14/13
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters