Published by Dark Horse Books
It has been a huge year of comics for me, the sheer amount of quality books has meant I have bought loads of them. To finish up the year I finally got to read some Fear Agent and end 2012 on an epic note.
This massive tome of a book has heft like no other on my shelf, it towers over my BRPD hardcovers and strikes fear into any Marvel Omnibus that might look at it funny. The pages are huge and present the magnificent artwork in a beautiful manner, it leaves you wishing all comics were this size and this fun.
Heath Huston is an alien exterminator, the “last of a small band of Texas ass-stompers known as the Fear Agents.” He traverses the galaxy in a spaceship called Annie, clearing out alien infestations and drinking to forget his past. Carrying on the glorious tradition of hard-hitting, smooth talking and heavy drinking tough guys, Heath is pulp-noir hero flung into this science fiction romp. Rick Remender tells a rollicking tale that manages to balance humour, heart and heroism. Heath saves the day, while drunk and wearing a jet-pack and if he’s lucky gets the girl.
The art duties are split between Moore,who co-created the book, alternating arc for arc with Jerome Opeña. The transition between the two is very smooth although they are distinctly different artists. Moore has a clean and classic line that leads to almost mythic storytelling. Opeña in contrast has a looser sketchier feel that gives the impression of more space and movement. Basically you chop and change between which artist you prefer depending on whose panels you are looking at, they are both excellent.
The book is full of great lines and that is not entirely due to the fact that Heath has a tendency to quote Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) at the drop of a hat. To accompany the great language there is excellent world-building and character creation. From the plentiful worlds we visit, we encounter many different alien races; from four-legged space truckies to Arctic-Yetis, brains atop giant robots and jet pack wearing space lizards.
As well as the first fifteen issues of Fear Agent, this Library Edition also includes the Tales of the Fear Agent back up stories by other writers and artists and some great sketches and thumbnails with commentary by Tony Moore. They add to the fullness of the experience, it does feel as though you are getting the ‘Complete’ Fear Agent.
Should I buy it? If you can find a copy. I have heard they have sold out all over the place and are going to a second printing. So pre-order it from your local comic shop and while you’re there get your order in for the second volume. It’s due to drop in April 2013 and will complete the story of the Fear Agent.
Next Time: Never one to shy away from a bandwagon, I leap on the end of year best of list and give you my ‘Top 12 for 2012’. Also I will review the banter filled, super-spy heroics of Secret Avengers: Run the Mission, Don’t get Seen, Save the World by Warren Ellis and the best collection of artists ever in a six issue run. It’s rad.