Harken back, dear reader, to the days when rockets were cigar-shaped, space suits were skin-tight, and the aliens always had more limbs. Harken back to the days of ray guns and adventure, of utopias with corrupted hearts. Harken back to when the Science was Weird, and perhaps contained a dash of fantasy. Harken back to the age of chrome. Now, dear reader, soak all of that in whiskey and throw in a Sam Clemens-quoting Texan who can look fear in the face and sock it right in the chops. Now, prepare yourself for a story of redemption that will hit your feels like a steel-plated brick.

This is Fear Agent: a science-fiction thriller by Rick Remender with art by Tony Moore and Jerome Opeña.

The Earth as we know it has been destroyed several times over by various races of alien conquerors. The vestiges of humanity that managed to escape have been scattered across the galaxies. Enter Heathrow Huston, a hard-drinking Texas native, who is one of the last Fear Agents, defenders and peacekeepers tasked with guarding Earth against extra-terrestrial threats. Content to drown his sorrows in alcohol while farming out his skills as an alien exterminator, he whiles away his days taking on dangerous missions and pining for his family, who are long presumed dead. A routine job and alien plot, however, leads him down a treacherous path to hunt down and annihilate the last survivors of the human race. Huston must summon up all of his guile, courage, and grit to confront the masterminds behind the genocidal plan, all while battling the perils of betrayal, robot armies, and time travel.

Remender has created a world bursting with a deftly constructed amalgam of genres and the artists he has chosen to interpret Fear Agent could not be more suited to the work. Tony Moore and Jerome Opeña alternate story-arcs for the entire series. Both share a quality of line work that is rich in detail and caricature, from the stubble on Huston’s face to the concentric rings of hot disintegration fired from energy pistols. Moore’s work in particular bears a striking resemblance to that of Jack Davis (EC Comics, Mad Magazine), especially in the faces and hands. Everything is washed in palettes of bright orange, green, and purple, leaving one completely unprepared for the total emotional onslaught of the story in the face of the sheer ridiculousness of the lurid and slightly comedic design.

The Fear Agent Library, vol. 1 contains the first fifteen issues of the series in addition to some one-shots, and a smorgasbord of sketches, cover art, and bonus material. The e-copy was used for this review; however, it is heartily recommended that readers take advantage of the very affordable price of this volume, as well as the second, in glorious, large-format hardcover.

Fear Agent Library, vol. 1
by Rick Remender
Art by Tony Moore, Jerome Opeña
ISBN: 9781616550059
Dark Horse, 2012

  • Garrett Gottschalk

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support! Garrett Gottschalk is an adult reference librarian at the Elmwood Park Public Library, Chicagoland, Illinois. He grew up on the great plains of Kansas, where he enjoyed subscriptions to Captain America, Thor, and Mad Magazine. After a fantasy detour during high school, he re-discovered comics of all flavors in college, and he currently spends his workdays ordering and promoting graphic novels (and music, video games, assorted non-fiction, etc) for the library, among other programming, outreach, and educational activities. Besides reading comics, Garrett enjoys spending time with his amazing wife, brewing and drinking beer, getting out of the country once in a while, gaming, rock shows, and organizing tabletop RPGing in Chicago as a volunteer community representative for Paizo Publishing. His mustache is a labor of love, and has been with him in spirit his entire life.

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