Cover of Fear Agent 4 (May 2006). Art by Tony Moore.
|Publisher||Dark Horse Comics
|Publication date||October 2005 – November 2011|
|Number of issues||32 (of 32)|
|Main character(s)||Heath Huston|
|Artist(s)||Tony Moore (#1-4, 12-15, 22-27)
Jerome Opena (#4-10, 17-19, 21)
Francesco Francavilla (#11)
Eric Nguyen (#16)
Kieron Dwyer (#20-21)
|Volume 1: Re-Ignition||ISBN 1-59307-764-5|
Fear Agent is a science fiction comic book series by Rick Remender with art by Tony Moore and Jerome Opena, who alternate on story arcs. The series is published by Dark Horse Comics and previously by Image Comics.
The series stars the rugged alcoholic Texas spaceman Heath Huston, the supposed last Fear Agent, in a series of fast-paced adventures. The series is notable for its emphasis on action, adventure, horror, and plot twists rather than realism or scientific detail; Remender claims in the first issue that "science fiction has lost its stones" and that Fear Agent is his attempt to fight that trend. Many incidents in the early issues are unexplained until many issues later to reinforce this.
The series launched in October 2005, published by Image Comics. It ran for 11 issues. In September 2006, Dark Horse Comics announced that Fear Agent would be moving to Dark Horse. The company reprinted the first trade paperback collection (originally published by Image), released on April 28, 2007. The second volume followed on May 30, 2007.
On June 13, 2007, Dark Horse began Fear Agent: The Last Goodbye, a four-part mini-series telling of the alien invasion and creation of the Fear Agents by way of flashback after issue 10's events.
After completion of The Last Goodbye and a one-shot "Tales of the Fear Agent: Twelve Steps in One," Dark Horse resumed chronological numbering for the series with number 17, making "The Last Goodbye" issues 12-15 and the one-shot #16.
The series went on a hiatus with issue #27 (cover dated June 2009), following Remender signing an exclusive deal with Marvel, but restarted in July 2010 for the last five-issue storyline "Out of Step".
Heath Huston is the last Fear Agent, a task force dedicated to eradicating alien threats to their home planet, Earth. A Mark Twain-studying redneck from Texas, Heath spends his days as an alcoholic conversing with Annie, the A.I. system of his spaceship.
After a close escape from the planet Frazterga, Heath is forced to investigate a space outpost that he finds abandoned and unable to communicate. As it turns out, the compound has been invaded by Feeders, a plasmoid-like octopoid race that do nothing other than devour using powerful stomach acids and reproduce more of their kind.
Familiar with the Feeders' patterns and the race that uses them in biological warfare, the Dressites, the newly refueled Heath discovers the Dressites intend to destroy Earth. Some time earlier, they nearly had destroyed the planet.
Heading back to Earth, Heath picks up Mara, another survivor from the mostly decimated Earth. Unfortunately, Heath is sidetracked into joining with a race of seemingly primitive aliens, only he finds there is more than meets the eye in the situation.
As events progress, it is revealed Heath is the lone survivor because all of the other Fear Agents were killed in an unknown incident. Adding more danger, Heath discovers one of the "primitive" race is actually planning to betray him and his brethren by giving him to the Dressite Empire, who have posted a bounty on his head for a prior incident. Luckily for Heath, the primitives' betrayer kills him before he can do much about it.
5-10: My War
Heath's luck still doesn't run out, when a race of aliens clone him and place his conscious mind in a new body. He sets out to travel backwards in time to stop the robotic Tetaldians, the second alien race that has targeted Earth for destruction. Flashbacks reveal that an alien invasion started and lead to the immediate deaths of Heath's son and father, explaining his hatred of the races. Heath successfully stops the Tetaldian threat early on.
Heath's bad luck leads to a race of aliens responsible for the fabric of time, the Keepers, who imprison the unapologetic Agent. After several time traveling incidents all ending with the Keepers jailing him, and when he retaliates after learning the Keepers plan to restore the Teteldian Empire, Heath is locked up for life, but subsequently freed by them.
Mara ends up having sex with Heath, and he receives a mysterious message from a different version of Mara during the night. Heath sweeps this aside, and is determined to return to Earth to see if his wife, Charlotte is alive. When he arrives, he finds Earth overrun by the Dressen Empire, and can't find evidence of Charlotte being alive. He gives her up for dead.
An army of Dressites attack Heath, and as he prepares for the death of the last Fear Agent, a small army of Free Agents rescue him. When the group return to their base, Heath discovers Charlotte is now the head of the Earth rebellion, but his relief melts as the Houston luck shows that Charlotte no longer considers Heath her husband for mysterious reasons. Charlotte is now married to one of the Fear Agents, who seems to be a much better person than Heath.
11: Along Came a Spider
An issue long 'Tales of the Fear Agent' illustrated by Italian illustrator Francesco Francavilla. A population of human flies pays Heath to protect them from a race of spiders slowly taking over their world. However, when Heath becomes impregnated with the spiders' eggs he becomes the planet's greatest threat."
The Last Goodbye 1-4 (#12-15)
Picking up at the end of the My War arc, after finding out that Charlotte had left him, Heath leaves and walks outside the base on the moon. Mara follows him, finding him sitting drunkenly reflecting on the graves of his fallen comrades. Not in the mood to talk, Heath replays the origins of the Fear Agents in his mind:
Hours after returning home with his father, trucker Heath's family is lost to an alien invasion, with the exception of Charlotte. Hours later, it seems the entire population of Earth is decimated, with Heath and his wife stuck in the middle of it all.
A handful of survivors end up in an abandoned warehouse, caught in the crossfire of a skirmish between a race of humanoid amoeba and a race of robots, and Heath finds some jumpsuits. He motivates the survivors so that they will begin a resistance against these aliens, and show the invaders the meaning of the word "Fear". The Fear Agents are born. Assimilating weaponry from defeated soldiers on both sides of the conflict, the Fear Agents gain advanced technology, such as the ability to travel deep space, worm hole teleportation, rocket packs, and powerful blasters to offset the forces of Dressites and Tetaldians, as the Agents discover the races are named, in a fight that Earth just happened to fall in the middle of. Holding the line for humanity, Heath loses many of his friends, but his iron will doesn't succumb to the terrors he conquers daily as a Fear Agent.
As the battle rages on and humanity has regained a foothold in the battle, the Fear Agents amass an army of survivors and invade the Dressite base on the moon. Meanwhile on Earth, the Fear Agents discover one of their own is a traitor who uses the worm hole teleportation tech to lead the Dressites to their base, and has told the Dressites of the Fear Agents' plan to invade the moon base, allowing the aliens to set a clever trap which leads to a mass eradication of the Fear Agents, leaving Heath to believe he's one of a few remaining resistance members.
After losing so many of his comrades, Heath is enraged beyond reason and takes a bomb to the Dressite homeworld, despite Otto's dying wish that "he not kill all them people." Heath awakes on Earth, and learns that the Dressites have left. A representative from the United Systems lands on Earth, and explains that the Dressite military was serving as their peace keeping force. Their military is hugely unpopular on their homeworld. Resentful of being ostracized at home and forced to protect other species far from home, the Dressites unfairly took out their frustrations on the humans. The representative believes that the Tetaldians carried out the genocide, but Charlotte realizes with horror that it was in fact her husband. Charlotte leaves him—the bomb killed trillions of innocent Dressites, including mothers and children.
This leads to Heath's having a "capture alive if possible" bounty posted on his head by the Dressites, who hold no sympathy for the innocents murdered in their war on Earth, only wanting to punish him for the genocide of their own.
Tales of the Fear Agent: Twelve Steps in One (#16)
Heath works through a drunken haze to stop alien exploiters from endangering innocent lives all in the name of profit.
17-21 Hatchet Job
Mara's past is revealed as a space pirate named Levi sells her family to a third race looking for a foothold on Earth, a cannibalistic race. Mara grows up, swearing to the Dressites she will do anything in their name for revenge on the pirate Levi.
Heath goes to the Feeders' homeworld to find their natural predator, but he is stuck with his number one rival in his current life, Charlotte's new husband. The race on this planet targets the two for a battle to the death, but even as Heath is losing, his rival impales himself on Heath's weapon, revealing that the daughter he raised as his own is actually Heath's. Heath is sent free.
Meanwhile, Mara leads some Fear Agent survivors including Charlotte on a different mission. Charlotte catches Mara's act of treachery with the Dressites, that she will be given Levi's location in exchange for that of her fellow Fear Agents'. Charlotte's team ends up stranded on-planet, stuck with aliens that used religion to reunite with their god, but the experiment went awry and left them all soul-eating ghouls. Mara and Charlotte team up after losing some agents, and along the way, Mara sends a message to the past and hopes to make what will happen clear to a Heath in that timeline, but he disregarded her message.
Heath makes his way on-planet and saves Charlotte, and Mara escapes to the pirate ship. She discovers a Dressite telling one of the pirates about Heath's bounty, but kills the pirate before he can tell his comrades. Heath tries to convince Mara not to kill Levi since it will spiral into more Galactic civil war. Levi takes the distraction's opportunity to sneak a gun after Mara's laser blast takes one of his arms away. Levi shoots Mara in the back and kills her, and throws Heath out the airlock. Without his oxygen tank and running out of time, Heath admits to himself that he saw Levi taking the gun and let him shoot Mara anyway.
22-27 I Against I
The series is being collected into a number of trade paperbacks:
|#||Title||ISBN||Release Date||Collected Material|
|1||Re-Ignition||ISBN 978-1-59307-764-8||May 9, 2007 (Dark Horse)||Fear Agent #1-4|
|2||My War||ISBN 978-1-59307-766-2||May 23, 2007||Fear Agent #5-10|
|3||The Last Goodbye||ISBN 978-1-59307-929-1||March 12, 2008||Fear Agent: The Last Goodbye #1-4*|
|4||Hatchet Job||ISBN 978-1-59307-974-1||August 27, 2008||Fear Agent #17-21|
|5||I Against I||ISBN 978-1-59582-249-9||January 15, 2010||Fear Agent #22-27|
|X||Tales of the Fear Agent||ISBN 978-1-59307-959-8||May 7, 2008||backup stories from Fear Agent #5-11, stories from MySpace Dark Horse Presents #3-4, and Tales of the Fear Agent: Twelve Steps in One|
|6||Out of Step||ISBN 978-1-59582-880-4||April 18, 2012||Fear Agent #28-32|
In December 2012 a library edition was printed collecting issues #1-15 of the acclaimed Fear Agent comics, along with half of the Tales of the Fear Agent side-stories, covers, pin-ups, and artists' sketch galleries. The second volume originally planned to be released the following year was put on hold, eventually being printed in April 2014. This collects issues #17-32 of the popular series, also includes Tales of the Fear Agent bonus stories and a massive gallery of covers, sketches, and pin ups.
- Note: After completion of "The Last Goodbye", Dark Horse adopted a chronological numbering for the series in addition to the arc numbering, hence "The Last Goodbye" makes up issues #12-15.
- Dark Horse press release
- O'Shea, Tim (November 4, 2007). "Remender's Fear Agent: Open Wound as Lead Character". Comics Bulletin.
- Remender Signs Exclusive, Marvel.com, April 5, 2009
- Arrant, Chris (June 1, 2010). "As FEAR AGENT Ends, Writer Rick Remender Reveals Secrets". Newsarama. Retrieved June 1, 2010.