Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Rootin' Tootin' Good Time

Fear Agent #27
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Tony Moore
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Fear Agent is a fast paced, randomly trippy, often funny, usually gross, but always entertaining sci-fi adventure. Our hero is Texan Heath Huston. You normally find him flying around outer space in his small rocket with a computerized female companion (who's usually the more level-headed one) and guzzling whatever booze he can get his hands on.

He's out in space because a war came to Earth. The Tetaldians and Dressites are fighting over the fundamental differences in their beliefs and cultures. They wipeout most of the Earth's population causing the remaining humans to scatter. Those left behind are then devoured by the biological weapon of the Dressites - Feeders (big nasty creatures who are all mouth).

The early stories were published by Image Comics before being moved to Dark Horse. In the early stories, we learn that Heath's wife Charlotte is dead along with the rest of his family, but we aren't told much of anything else other than that he's been out in space for 10 years. We do know that he calls himself the "last of the Fear Agents" and his reputation allows for him to take jobs as a bounty hunter ridding other worlds of dangerous beasts.

What we don't know is how it all got started. What is a Fear Agent? How far into the future does this take place? Is Heath the only human left?

As the arcs continue, we get answers to those questions. One surprising answer is that this takes place in the relative present. Heath doesn't have a laser gun and spaceship because we've advanced that far, he has those things because humans stole the technology from the invaders. We also find out that Heath has committed an act of genocide that has him more or less exiled from the remaining human population.

I strongly recommend this title to anyone who is a fan of good, old-fashioned, honest science fiction. Rick Remender can write to this genre very well. The aliens are original, but without much backstory into any one alien in particular, aren't written hastily or half assed. The stories are deep even if Heath is a purposely shallow man with a deep, rich backstory. He's constantly throwing in elements of horror and even a little bit of that Western style action.

Issue #27 is an end to an arc with an ending that is unsettling. Has all that Heath done been a lie? Is he being played by one of the sides that invaded Earth? All will be revealed in the next arc that Remender has labeled the "last story of the last Fear Agent". It appears that after 4 years, Heath Huston may be rocketing into the sunset. That makes me really sad because this was one book (when it actually came out and not late) that never disappointed me and always made me want more.

Quick, go to and see if you can find some of the trades for sale! I promise you will not be disappointed.

Thank you for reading. I will be back this upcoming weekend with a retro review of the classic mini-series The Escapists. Next week, I'll be off to the 2009 Chicago ComicCon, but I will be writing some reviews from my hotel room!

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