“It is not in the least likely that any life has ever been lived which was not a failure in the secret judgment of the person who lived it.”
– Samuel Langhorne Clemens
That’s not a cheerful epigraph for this comic book, but it’s fitting. In this issue, Heath Huston, one of the last surviving Fear Agents from a horrific battle, takes a small action – just a little thing, the kind of thing you decide in about 15 seconds in the heat of the moment – and literally destroys a world. That’s the problem with anger, with rage, with blind mindless fury. Almost by definition, you do the wrong thing. Anger gets the better of logic. Passion trumps brains. It’s the thing that separates adults from children, that keeps people out of jail, that keeps society intact. Heath is full of rage, ready to do anything to avenge his friends. And in his fury he destroys so much.
What’s so striking about the words of The Last Goodbye is that they could be universal. Horrific actions can be taken when one is angry, exhausted, worn out and worn down. In a way it’s surprising that such actions happen as rarely as they do, especially in the intensely dehumanizing, mechanistic haze of war.
In the end there are two real tragedies from Huston’s actions. His soul is the second victim. It’s clear now why Huston chose to live his life in an alcoholic haze, why he lost faith in both himself and his common man, why the only thing he can really trust is his ship. Once you’ve seen the abyss, once you’ve experienced the nadir of human experience, all that’s left is anesthesia. How can you trust other people when the person you know best, yourself, is capable of such evil?
Fear Agent is generally a high-adventure, high-intensity, balls-to-the-wall action comic. And there’s tons of action and excitement in this particular issue. But at the heart of this issue is a searingly intense look at the banal depths of evil that people can blindly stumble into. Fear Agent: The Last Goodbye #4 is the rarest of the r