Essentially picking up where the best-forgotten 1989 film “The Fly 2” left off, Martin Brundle — son of “Brundlefly” Seth Brundle — is managing the genetic mutation he inherited from his father while trying to help the horribly mutated former CEO Anton Bartok. As the comic’s title implies, Brandon Seifert and menton3’s “The Fly: Outbreak” introduces a complication regarding Martin’s attempt to cure Bartok that could create even more mutations. This continuation is a fairly linear sequel that sticks largely with concepts from the last film and suffers a bit by doing so.
The story told in the film sequel had a sense of stubbornness to it, as the tech of Seth Brundle’s telepods continually mystifies the clueless, bungling scientists who try to master it with gruesome and sickening results. That same mentality is evident here as early as the story’s first page, and what’s more difficult to swallow is that Martin himself makes a serious mistake. Seifert portrays Martin as kindhearted, trying to help the very man who subjected him to countless tests and studies as a child, but what’s disappointing is the continued use of the troublesome tech that has long proven unworkable. With the addition of a seemingly careless mistake that gravely worsens the situation, Martin’s kind nature is trumped by his own apparent stupidity.
Because Seifert’s story is plenty straightforward, though, it can be readily understood, even by those who missed, avoided or forgot the second movie. In fact, with everything readers need to know about Martin Brundle encapsulated before the story begins, this comic might actually be enjoyed more by those who didn’t see the sequel, as they will be spared from having to sit through many of the same elements from that movie a second time here. Seifert and menton3 deliver the story with a stylish take; menton3’s soft-edged, painted interiors give Seifert’s story a more compelling air than it really has, and it carries the slower first half of the issue before evoking that same kind of Cronenberg-like shock value when the effects of Martin’s error are revealed.
There are some nice layouts interspersed throughout the issue, particularly the symmetrically opposed positioning of Martin and his girlfriend, who demonstrates growing impatience with his condition, so to speak. A lot of menton3’s panels look static, though, not conveying motion so much as looking like a series of snapshots. He also seems a little too reliant on photo references for facial expressions at times but, despite these shortcomings, he delivers an attractive set of pages that enhance Seifert’s story. His tones are mostly muted, making the brighter splashes — such as blood or neon green mutated creature goo — have a greater impact.
Like “The Fly 2,” “The Fly: Outbreak” #1 wasn’t really necessary but, unlike that film, this effort at least has a little bit of style to bolster the storyline.