PROG: 53 – ON THE RUN
Script: Robert Flynn
Art: Brett Ewins
Letters: Peter Knight
Plot: Robert McKinnon is a famous Hollywood star but one troubled by his horoscope; McKinnon cannot make any decisions without consulting the stars. On hearing of a computer that can predict the future he is granted a trial of the machine and it shows him being knocked down by a car on 5th Avenue. McKinnon reasons that if he leaves the USA he cannot be bound by the computer’s projections so he flees to a career in the UK. Back at work on the other side of the pond McKinnon feels assured he has made the right decision. Suddenly he sees a large studio light about to fall on a group of staff.
Shock: McKinnon runs to warn the people and in his haste is knocked down by the car seen in the projections. He hadn’t realised the studio set was of 5th Avenue.
Thoughts: Robert Flynn’s penultimate outing for 2000AD is an above par effort although not of the quality of Prog 45’s Killer Car. The strip is fairly decompressed by 2000AD‘s standards, with McKinnon’s agent Jeff getting 5 panels to help exposition whereas his role is highly peripheral. Noticeably McKinnon is a rather bland character, there is no attempt to paint him as a Hollywood ‘prima-donna’ or outright jerk, his job is simply a form to allow him to be snagged by the shock. This renders the tale rather un-engaging. Brett Ewin’s first solo art duties aren’t that impressive although the odd panel is nicely inked. The difference between his solo work and that with long-time collaborator Jim McCarthy is noticeable at this early juncture with his own inking lacking McCarthy’s feathery style. His contribution doesn’t add much to the Shock which would probably have benefited from an artist more suited to traditional horror comics.
Shock’d?: The whole shock runs rather flat and the fatal accident takes place on page 3 with the reveal of the set being 5th avenue on page 4, by which point only the dimmest of readers won’t have seen what is coming. Perhaps with a different artist it would have worked better as a ‘you can’t escape fate’ type of Terror Tale.