PROG:55 – Space Bug
Script: V Wernham
Art: Jose Luis Ferrer
Letters: Peter Knight
Plot: On a distant planet and after months of drilling Prospectors finally hit pay dirt – oil to replenish earth’s diminished resources. As one of the men heads to the radio room to call in their claim he is bitten by a bug. It seems to have an immediate effect and he collapses. Meanwhile an alien craft has also hit the jackpot with its mining gear and they too begin to mine the resources.
Shock: The aliens in the craft are the bug that has bitten the miner in the radio room, they intend to fully pump his blood dry.
Thoughts: Its hard not to like this shock due largely to the lovely work of Jose Luis Ferrer and the silly old-world charm of ‘staking claims’ and other anachronistic nonsense. However it is an unoriginal script, recycling the story of FS 2 Food For Thought and, more importantly, one that doesn’t manage to hide its shock. The transition between the Prospector’s story and the switch to inside the Aliens ship needs to be more disjointed, leaving the reveal they are one and the same event to the end. Instead it is fairly impossible to not see that the Aliens are the ‘bug’ immediately and so spoil any shock. That flaw, which the mysterious writer Wernham certainly could have avoided, and the similarity to the old Shock aside it is a fun enough old school Shock and finishes with a great image of an oil-well being built on a human hand.
Shock’d?: Sadly not as much as the strip hopes as it is clear the bug and the aliens are one and the same immediately and with another page of the story to go.