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Fear Agent Volume One: Re-Ignition
By Hervé St-Louis
June 28, 2007 - 00:16

Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): Rick Remender
Penciller(s): Tony Moore
Cover Artist(s): Sean Parson, Mike Manley


A Texas boy and alien exterminator Heath Houston, is on a job to exterminate primates harassing a city on the planet Frazterga. What should be an easy mission turns deadly as a class A alien is seen on site, attacking Houston with a mind blast. All of this is part of a greater set up to destroy the Earth and other planets with carnivorous basic life forms. Can Houston reach Earth in time to stop the invasion?  This volume collects issues 1 to 4 of the series.

Fear Agent is a light but thoroughly entertaining story with easy characters to relate to and subtle humour. Quickly, readers are introduced to the rules of this book. In a similar series, Wake, humans are the only creatures whose minds are not readable by other aliens. Here, Humans are part of a cast of enlightened life forms with mind readers apparently at the top of the food chain. It’s always interesting when science fiction starts filling up details about alternative conditions for life and inter species communications.

Unfortunately, Remender does not spend too much time of this, favouring straightforward action. Near the end of the story the focus changes as a major subplot takes precedence. Although as entertaining, it takes away from the plot to destroy the Earth element and raises a whole lot of other questions about the story. Houston is your basic shoot first and ask question bad guys popularized in other space comic book series like Jeremiah Harm. The difference, is that Houston is not as invulnerable. Each step he takes could be his last.

This series does not break any groundbreaking territory as it is similar in tone and theme to many other space age stories featuring swashbuckling humans against aliens. But still, there's enough material in there to capture one's imagination.

The artwork is fuzzy and rough, just the way I like it. The non realistic approach to the artwork, gives it the qualities of a typical European comic book. It makes this space stories much more enlightening. The artwork and storytelling keep up nicely with the fast pace of this story. The primal design of the aliens and space technology provide a stylized look reminiscent of Steve Rude, 1960s Marvel Comics and other science fiction comics like Johnny Raygun. The aliens don't have the complexity of those found in Runners, but they remain interesting, nonetheless.

It’s an entertaining story that stops in a cliffhanger. Let’s hope the next volume will answer more questions.

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