PROG 27: FIRST CONTACT
Script: Alan Hebden
Letters: John Aldrich
Plot: At Heathrow airport planes are suspended mid-flight as an alien ship requests to land – the government, seizing the opportunity to make first contact readily agree but as the, still unseen, alien craft comes into land it garbles strange messages about an unidentified forest and being forced to land there. The government agents and military rush around nearby fields assuming the craft to be invisible
Shock : The alien craft is tiny and is crushed under-foot by one of the men searching for it
Thoughts: Third time lucky as seasoned and much under-valued 2000AD scribe Alan Hebden (Meltdown Man, Mean Team, Death Planet) turns in the first classic Future Shock. Beautifully written it’s a great punchy tale packed with fantastic dialogue (‘Man! This is FOR REAL!‘) and several human characters driving the story onwards while teasing all the time at the shock to come. While the problem of scale is hardly a novel one to Sci-Fi here is 2000AD making Douglas Adams’ jokes a year before him. Another anonymous studio European ‘Medraho’ gives great value in terms of characters, locations, a brilliant opening shot of a 747 and a lush final panel of the space-craft about to meet its doom. His art is also rather ‘english’ in its characterisations – more John Cooper than Jesus Redondo, and its a ‘commando’ style that suits the tone of the piece. The story also has some crazy but effective panel layouts and an interesting, if failed, attempt at some lettering effects. As with the original future shock, King of the World, this tale makes great use of that ‘turning the page’ moment only a physical comic can give. Any collection of Future Shocks should open with this classic tale.
Shock’d? Oh yes. The humans keep talking about an invisible craft and the Alien’s have great technology to be able to freeze all air-flight so that they are smaller than a size ten shoe on the last page works really well. For those that are interested the alien’s last words are ‘…..NO!!‘