Fear Agent #22

A comic review article by: Jason Sacks
Life is never easy for Heath Huston. When last we saw him, Heath and his giant Siberian pal Nicholas were escaping through a black hole and Heath had managed to press a button that allowed him to escape the clutches of said black hole.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the singularity, Heath and Nicholas find a different sort of desperate situation. The pair is rapidly separated from their spaceship and soon find themselves wandering a desolate desert planet searching for civilization. But wait, it gets worse. There are giant bugs on the planet. Not to mention treacherous robot women and a secret villain.

Yeah, life is never easy for Heath Huston, which makes life a lot of fun for you and me. Part of what makes this series so wonderful is that Heath is eternally stumbling from one adventure to the next, always running into unique situations that threaten to destroy him.

Like Indiana Jones and most other action heroes, what ultimately saves Heath each time is his own sense of indomitable self. He's an intriguingly complex character below the surface. However, on the surface, Heath is never beaten down by anything. He always manages to survive through his wits and intensity and the odd sort of subtle intelligence he carries.

This issue has nice moments where we see Heath at his best as a person. He banters with Nicholas, doing everything he can to help his desperately injured friend from succumbing to the intense desert heat. Readers begin to see a real friendship develop between the two of them as they discuss Heath's family and his dreams of revenge.

But we also see Heath the fighter. When he and Nicholas are attacked by a swarm of bugs, we see Heath battle using every ounce of strength he has to defeat the bugs. No matter that the bugs carry poisonous venom that has blinded him. Heath fights on because he always fights on. He just never stops. He can't. He's unable to ever stop fighting.

Tony Moore does a sterling job as usual of conveying Heath's world. Moore portrays action with an intensity that really adds energy to every situation. Moore is also wonderful at using storytelling tricks like silhouette, close-ups and even the nine-panel grid as story moments dictate. There's even a touch of the great Jack Davis in Moore's art, which is always a treat.

Speaking of treats, readers get a rare art job by the legendary Ronn Sutton in this issue's backup story. Readers rarely get to see art by this 1970s standout, so it's a real joy to get a very pleasing eight-pager in the back of this issue. Sutton and collaborator Hilary Barta deliver a story of a Heath that seems younger than he does in the lead story, but one who is no less a fighter than elsewhere in the issue. It's a goofy tale of UFOs and spongy space aliens, but Sutton and Barta deliver the story with wonderful energy and wit.

Heath Huston is a survivor. I can't wait to see how he survives his travails on this desert planet.

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