FS 20: VENUS (BLANK) TRAP

17 Aug

PROG: 49 – FLY GUY

Script: Steve Moore

Art: Jose Luis Ferrer

Letters: Peter Knight

Plot: After destroying an orbital ‘moon’ Space Station the Nivlek Aliens land on the farm colonies of Venus, ‘the Garden of the Solar System’ and demand to be recognised as new rulers or the planet will be obliterated. Faced with annihilation the colony’s leader ‘Mayor’ Croxley cedes authority and takes the insectoid aliens on a tour of the farms. In the giant greenhouses, stuffed with huge versions of Earth’s botany,  he shows them into a special Restricted Area.

Shock: In the Restricted Area the fly-like Aliens are consumed by giant Venus Fly Traps

Thoughts: An excellent Future Shock that disguises the terrible pun that lies at the heart of it. The Venus setting isn’t overplayed so only the keenest reader will predict a Venus Fly Trap the first time we see the Insectoid Nivlek. Moore throws a great bit of distraction into the story by having ‘Mayor’ Croxley squabbling with his advisors and turning the tables on both the aliens and his detractors by having kept the Fly Traps from them all. A fine example of compressed story-telling Fly Guy packs in the destruction of a ‘death star’-like artificial moon, an alien invasion, the political squabbling of the invaded politicians  as well as the grisly resolution.  It also marks the first time Moore makes mankind the victor rather than the victim after three strips of humanity taking the pain. Under-used European artist Jose Luis Ferrer does a terrific job on all aspects of the strip with his style strongly reminiscent of the more familiar Jose Ortiz.

Shock’d? It’s Venus, they’re Flies.. its obvious! Except it’s not because Moore nicely downplays the more obvious links and throws a great distraction into the plot. The shock may seem inevitable in retrospect but right up to the Restricted Area doors opening it was all still to play for. A well executed shock.

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