Fear Agent: aliens, alcohol and retro sci-fi

Fear Agent: aliens, alcohol and retro sci-fi

Fear Agent

If we think back to the classic heroes of adventurous science fiction, the first names that come to mind are Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and Captain Future. In the golden age of pulp magazines, these names shaped the sci-fi imagery of readers and future writers, who saw the essence of cosmic adventure in their businesses. Lethal aliens, damsels in danger and beam weapons were the essential traits of these heroes all in one piece, a tradition that seems to have now found an heir in Heath Houston, the protagonist of Fear Agent, a new series presented in a full-bodied volume by saldaPress. After paying tribute to the pulp heroes with Adventureman a few months ago, the Italian publishing house seems to have seen in this comic by Rick Remender the heir of the cosmic heroes mentioned.

It is not the first time that the exploits of Heath Houston arrive in Italy. A few years ago the first issues of the Remender series were published by Comma 22, which did not, however, have particular prominence, due to an extremely complex start of the saga itself. Giving life to an irreverent and light-hearted space opera like the one imagined by Remender is not a simple work, a challenge that even an experienced narrator like the author of Tokyo Ghost and Black Science has struggled to bring home. Taken by the passion for vintage sci-fi, Remender immediately involved the reader in an unbridled narrative, inserting a series of classic narrative elements in his story in a whirlwind of action and irony that, at times, threatens to displace the reader. reader.

Fear Agent: return to classic sci-fi

Fortunately, the re-edition of saldaPress allows you to create a first volume of Fear Agent in which this hyperkinetic starting point is put back in order by evolution of history. It seems evident that Remender himself, once satisfied his desire to embark on this tightrope adventure, wanted to fix fixed points in the continuity of his series, finding a balance between the different components of Fear Agent. I mean praiseworthy but above all necessary, because although inspired by classic heroes, Heath Houston is anything but a hero, at least in the traditional sense of the term.

Member of the Fear Agents, a body of space agents dedicated to the protection of humanity , Heath Houston is the sole survivor of his division. After preventing the destruction of the Earth by a lethal alien race, Heath lost his family in a devastating attack on our planet, a wound that prompted him to seek new life among the stars, where he put his experience. as a fighter in the service of the highest bidder starting a glorious career as a ... pest control. Do you have aliens disturbing your peaceful settlement? Do you want to dislodge space cockroaches from your space station? Heath is the man for you. When he's not too drunk to work, at least.

As easily understood, Heath Houston is the personification of the fallen hero, victim of his own wounds and surrendered to the perfidy of life. Cynicism has taken the place of heroism, Heath wanders the galaxy in search of gigs that will allow him to refuel his spaceship and his stash of alcohol. The only companion is Annie, an onboard artificial intelligence, who vainly tries to bring a minimum of rigor into Heath's dissolute and self-destructive existence.

Remender, with Fear Agent, proves to have understood the dictates of weird science and pulp fiction. After having given life to a saga in which the great themes of sci-fi were extensively treated with Black Science, with Fear Agent those same themes are used to animate a story in which vulgarity and excesses are the order of the day, but always with the awareness that they are useful for characterizing the characters. A vision that in Remender's hands becomes a colorful and irreverent portrait of an unconscious hero, who, from error to error, tries to recover pieces of his own existence, without giving up his flaws and his very human fallibility.

The right man at the wrong time

It is this raw, light-hearted and unlikely inner fragility of Heath that gives Fear Agent his identity, crackling and confusing at first, and gradually more and more reasoned and deepened, between flashbacks and explanations that help to compose an exciting human mosaic. The use of captions is perfect, especially in the early stages of Fear Agent, in which a stream of Heath's consciousness helps us understand the inner complexity of an apparently easy to understand figure. In his passion for Clemens, in the way he lets his bitterness and his regret emerge, Heath generates the sympathy with which other famous scoundrels have marked indelible pages of pop culture.

A characterization of character and passing universe from the excellent drawings of Tony Moore. Called to usher in Fear Agent, Moore creates a retrofuturist look that exudes classicism, be it the shape of Heath's spaceship to its unusual equipment, with a search for detail that leads Moore to create fascinating alien worlds, populated by incredible creatures. A priceless vision that is inherited, in the second part of the volume, by Jerome Open a. Already alongside Remender in Seven to Eternity, Opena preserves Moore's grammar, allowing himself a more ironic and deliberately epicizing approach in some passages, wisely exaggerating the contrast between the irreverent figure of Heath and the more task context in which he finds himself. 'adventurer.

saldaPress, aware of having an intriguing sci-fi comic in his hands, publishes Remender's work in a beautiful collector's volume, capturing the gaze of the potential reader with an impressive cover. As per the tradition of the publishing house, in the appendix to the story we find a gallery of extras in which sketches and preparatory drawings are presented. A welcome presence, because within this sketchbook, as presented, we find Moore's studies for Heath and alien creatures, a look behind the scenes that arouses the curiosity of fans. An interesting way to show another side of the Heath Houston galaxy, the right man at the wrong time!

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