Fear Agent, TPB 2 & 3

August 23rd, 2008 by

Fear Agent is awesome.

Peppered with quotes from Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), the second and third trade paperbacks in the Fear Agent series collect issues #5-10 and #12-15 respectively. (Although originally, 12-15 were known as Fear Agent: The Last Goodbye #1-4.)

Do you remember when I got all whiny about the first trade, and how it ended in a cliffhanger? Well, volume #2, My War ends with another doozey. And guess what? Volume 3 is one long flashback! I don’t know when I’ll be getting Volume #4 from the library (since it came out relatively recently, there are a few people in line in front of me). Interestingly, Volume #4 doesn’t even collect Issue #11, which technically came before all the issues in Volume #3. According to Wikipedia, Issue #11 and #16 appear in an (unnumbered) trade paperback called simply Tales of the Fear Agent. While I’m waiting for Volume #4, I’m going to see if the library has that one. (Confused yet? I certainly was.)

The best kinds of cliffhanger don’t actually leave the hero hanging on a cliff. They actually change the tone of the story you’ve been reading. It’s more like you realize that the protagonist has been hanging from a cliff for a while, and he (or she) just didn’t know it. This was the kind of cliffhanger that Volume #2 ended with. Volume #1 was more of the hanging on a cliff kind.

Although the artist is different in Vol. 2 than in Volumes 1 and 3, Jerome OpeƱa does a great job of picking up where Tony Moore left off, and the style is so true to the way Moore started it that I honestly didn’t even notice.

Fear Agent continues to make us love and hate the main character (Heath Huston) in equal parts. He makes incredibly stupid mistakes, and thinks a bit too much of himself (and only himself) for my tastes. He’s also completely a hick, and mostly dumb as a pile of rocks. Still, it’s all quite fun watching his life (and planet!) fall apart around him. And you get to blame it on aliens!

I’m happy to report that, in spite of yet more “want to read more” type frustration, there is continued happiness and enjoyment. (The Clemens quotes also kick the series up a notch in my book.) I’ll report back when I’ve read the rest of the series.

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