The final Image Comics issue of Fear Agent before the series moves over to Dark Horse brings us another change in the status quo. Heath Huston is now shown to not be the last Fear Agent as he meets a group of Fear Agents who live and work on the moon, where they live with about 200,000 refugees. On the moon, Heath meets his ex-wife and has his heart broken again.
In previous issues Heath was portrayed as a bit of a hero, but here he seems more of a buffoon. Again and again, Heath means well, but again and again events blow up in his face. Sometimes they literally blow up in his face, as Heath gets covered with alien guts when he tries to help defeat a disgusting alien octopus creature. Other times, events figuratively blow up in his face, as Heath continues to make the wrong choices. It was easy to like Heath when he was the only Fear Agent, but now that there are suddenly more agents on the scene, readers begin to see just how much of a screw-up Heath is. The other Agents are straight-arrows, while Heath is an alcoholic. The other agents want to do well, while Heath just wants to save his ass.
This issue really resets the status quo as this era ends. The adventure side of this series is toned down while the humor element is played up. Scene after scene shows what a buffoon Heath is and how completely off-base his attitudes are. Previously, Heath has been shown as an irredeemable alcoholic, but he has a genuinely heroic element to him. It’s hard not to have that when your ass is constantly on the line. Now that he has other Agents to keep people safe, Heath can begin to relax, and there’s an overwhelming feeling that extra time will do nothing but cause him more trouble.
Jerome Opena’s artwork is fun. He does a nice job of playing up the silly elements of the story. I love the look he gives Heath, the look of a guy who’s desperately trying to keep his shit together but his own bad side keeps getting in his way. Opena also does a nice job with the setting of the story. The moon base looks like something out of a popular sci-fi movie, and of course he draws aliens really well.
This series leaves Image on a high note, with an especially funny and entertaining issue.