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The Firefly
Firefly archie
The Firefly, art by Bob Wood.
Publication information
Publisher MLJ Comics
First appearance Top-Notch Comics #8 (September, 1940)
Created by Harry Shorten
Bob Wood

The Firefly is a superhero comic book character created by Harry Shorten and Bob Wood for MLJ Comics in 1940. He first appeared in Top-Notch Comics #8. Artist Warren King and writer Joe Blair loaned their talents to many of the Firefly's installments.

Fictional character biography[]

The Firefly's real name is Harley Hudson, an entomologist and chemist. He discovers that insects can lift masses greater than their own weight not because of the square-cube law but because of their ability to coordinate their muscles. He teaches himself to coordinate his muscles as insects do and finds himself able to perform amazing feats. He then dons a costume and calls himself the Firefly. Thus, the Firefly, similar to the Black Hood, another MLJ superhero, does not possess any real superpowers but is merely a man possessing great physical and mental prowess due to his natural abilities.[1]

Harley Hudson's romantic interest is Joan Burton, a newspaper reporter. Her occupation was common for female characters in MLJ comics. Barbara Sutton, the romantic interest for the Black Hood, and Jane Barlowe, the romantic interest for the Wizard, were both newspaper reporters. It cannot be ignored that Lois Lane, Superman's romantic interest, was also a newspaper reporter.

The Firefly was a mainstay in Top-Notch Comics until its twenty-eighth issue, when MLJ changed its format from a superhero book to a humorous book. The popularity of superheroes waned in the late 1940s. The Firefly has had very few appearances since the 1940s, although when he did briefly reappear during the sixties in The Mighty Crusaders #4 he had gained the ability to glow brightly just like his namesake.


  1. Top-Notch Comics #8. September, 1940.