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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
The Fly: Metamorphosis

The Fly


The Fly: Outbreak #3 (IDW)

Comic book

Written by Brandon Seifert

Art by menton3

Lettered by Tom B. Long

Cover A by menton3

May 2015


The transgene-infected begin changing into Frankenflies.


Read the summary of the mini-series at RottenInk


Notes from the Fly chronology


This issue opens on Day 27 of Martin's quarantine and we're not given any clear indication of how much time passes after that in this issue. The infected humans go from being in bad shape, to being in cocoons, to emerging as Frankenflies with no mention of time's passage. It would seem from this process that several days should pass between some scenes. Yet, Beth was seen skulking about on the island early in the issue (page 5) and finally finds Martin at the end of the issue, implying it's all on the same day!


Didja Know?


The title of this issue was likely borrowed by the writer from Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis (1915), about a man who wakes up one day to find he has transformed into a giant insect (usually interpreted as a beetle or cockroach). Martin mentioned Kafka in "Quarantine". 


Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue


Dr. Martin Brundle


Officer Ross

Beth Brundle

Major Vurvin

Dr. Mayweather


Didja Notice?


In Martin's nightmare of a Frankenfly-infected world on page 1, the Statue of Liberty is seen in the background in panel 2, indicating the scene in question "takes place" in New York City.


The fly-face that is seen in Martin's nightmare in panel 4 of page 1 is the fly form Martin took on in The Fly II.


On page 2, Noelani remarks that Martin has been taking a lot of Adderall. Adderall is a drug used in the treatment of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder in which the afflicted may fall asleep at any time virtually instantaneously, even while in the middle of performing a task.


On page 2, Noelani tells Martin that the lithium treatments have helped the "unipolar mania" she had experienced (in "Quarantine"). Lithium is used in treating bipolar disorder.


On page 5, Martin and Noelani remark on how Beth enjoys outdoorsy stuff, like ice fishing and hunting. This may explain why Beth and Martin currently live on a houseboat and why Beth lived in a cottage on a wharf in The Fly II.


On page 9, Noelani remarks on how male fruit flies impale the females with their sex organ during procreation and eject "toxic jizz" into the female's bloodstream. This is true in some fruit fly species to some extent. Noelani is clearly frightened of what may happen to her as the men in quarantine with her metamorphosize into Frankenflies.


On page 14, Martin states that the government plan for killing the transgene-infected people in quarantine is code-named Malathion, using nitrogen hypoxia to kill them painlessly. Malathion is an insecticide often used to combat fruit fly infestations; from Martin's description of the government's plan, it doesn't seem that Malathion is actually to be used, it is merely the code name. Instead, the plan is to induce nitrogen hypoxia; this is a way of introducing an organism to an atmosphere made up of largely inert gases, preventing oxygen from entering the bloodstream.


When the infected humans' cocoons release Frankenflies, the soldiers guarding the quarantine facility ask Major Vurvin for permission to invoke protocol Myiagros. Myiagros was the title of a divine figure in ancient Greek mythology who could ward off flies when appropriate sacrifices were made.


On page 18, we see that the latest form of Frankenfly has the ability to fly with fly-like wings, a physical attribute not seen in previous versions of humanoid flies in The Fly and The Fly II.


On page 19, Beth appears to be carrying an M16 rifle with a scope on it, which does not appear to be the same weapon she was carrying earlier (on page 5) as she was skulking about the island.

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