A science-fiction comic book series by Rick Remender, with art alternating between Tony Moore and Jerome Opena on different story arcs.
Launched in October 2005 by Image Comics, and subsequently published by Dark Horse Comics, Fear Agent was created by Rick Remender, who believes that "science-fiction has lost its stones". Fear Agent follows the adventures of Heath Huston, a rugged, alcoholic Texan space badass who is the last of the Fear Agents, a task force dedicated to eradicating alien threats to their home planet of Earth. After the death of the other Agents in an at first undescribed event, Heath spends his time as an alien exterminator traveling to distant locales, getting rid of pests for a price. During one such pest removal, Heath stumbles upon an alien plot to annihilate the last of Earth's already mostly destroyed and displaced human population.
Picked up in 2020 by Amazon to be adapted as a streaming series.
"Fear Agent" provides examples of the following tropes:
- The Alcoholic: Thanks to having lost his son and loved ones to Tetaldian invasion along with the harsh life he led, Heath has been sticking to bottles of scotch to deal with his personal issue.
- Benevolent A.I.: Annie, to an extent, who is one of the few friends that Heath had.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Mara was a sole survivor of a family who was sold to carnivorous aliens by a criminal named Levi. She would later be saved by a group of Dressite soldiers, who then took her in as The Mole.
- Didn't Think This Through: United Systems basically doomed Dressite's home planet due to sending their military force, who were resented and bitter by their own citizens that they vent out their frustrations on Earth that they were supposed to defend against Tetaldian, without any form of liaison to clear things with humans. As a result, Dressite Peacekeepers' callous attitude towards collateral damage and lack of any diplomatic gestures towards the humans resulted in an uprising that led Heath to commit a massive genocide on their home planet.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After all he went through to stop the Teteldians and the Jellyfish Brains, the Out-of-Step Heath is given the gift of being able to see the new timeline where an alternate version of himself and his family are safe and living a happy life before driving the ship towards the sun with him on board.
- Epigraph: The last two pages use a beautiful quote by Sam Clemens."Life was not a valuable gift, but death was. Life was a fever-dream made up of joys embittered by sorrows, pleasure poisoned by pain; a dream that was a nightmare-confusion of spasmodic and fleeting delights, ecstasies, exultations, happinesses, interspersed with long-drawn miseries, griefs, perils, horrors, disappointments, defeats,humiliations, and despairs—the heaviest curse devisable by divine ingenuity; but death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart, and gave them rest and forgetfulness; death was man's best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free."
- Femme Fatale: Mara basically has an attractive look and charm to seduce Heath just to cut a deal with Dressite. Though she did eventually smitten with him in actuality.
- Gentle Giant: Otto, Heath's childhood friend and later a member of Fear Agent, is actually likable person despite his imposing figure, where he helped out Heath with a bully and generally supportive to his niece Andi. In fact, his final words before his death was telling Heath not to detonate a viral bomb on the Dressite home planet out of vengeance.Sadly, Heath did not heed this advice.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- Annie. At the moment right before the Big Bang, she stayed behind to activate the turret manually to destroy a matter that would become Tetaldians as Heath escapes.
- Latex Space Suit: Every spacesuit in the comics is formfitting.
- Man Behind the Man: The Jellyfish Brains behind the Tetaldians, though this was the result of Heath's interference that started it.
- The Mole: Mara made a deal with Dressians in exchange for the location of Levi, who sold her family to carnivore aliens in exchange for wealth.
- Space Western: This hits this trope pretty square, with its big-buckle toting, hard-drinking, down-home wisdom spewing, alien exterminating protagonist.
- Stupid Evil: Mara sells out Earth to the Dressites just for a chance to kill someone who wronged her in the past bigtime (being sold to carnivorous aliens who ate her parents before being rescued by Dressite), then when she runs into him, while being outclassed, fires at him anyway, dooming half the team. Still manages to get into his ship but dies before she can kill him. Heath even called her out for relatively petty reasons for the betrayal and deliberately distracted Mara long enough for her to get shot.
- Tragic Hero: Heath's impulsiveness has basically caused further delays and misery as the story went along. First, his genocide of Dressite's homeworld out of revenge had caused rifts between him and his wife while informally caused the second invasion of Earth from vengeful Dressite survivors. Second, his attempt to erase Tetaldian was not only futile but also laid the foundation of Jellyfish Brains to control time and space with the revelations of the future and later take over of the controllers. As a result, Heath basically ended up as a last human in a galaxy slowly being consumed by Tetaldian assimilation. Even if he managed to reboot the universe without Tetaldians, Heath drove his ship into the sun as he found himself already satisfied with his redemption.
- Used Future: Justified that majority of the scenery involved Heath's life in a dirty and aged starship, Earth being reconstructed from an alien invasion, and the periphery of known civilized worlds.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: In Issue 21, Andi was transformed into Dressite soldier after being she was left on their home planet just as Heath (who assumed that Andi died) detonated the explosives in the last issue of The Last Goodbye arc. The surviving Dressites then proceed to vent out their anger on her before placing her in an acidic substance of their species and life support.
- Unwitting Pawn: Heath is this from the very beginning.
- Wham Episode: Issue 4 Heath and Mara are revealed to have been sent 20,000 years into the past. Ket is revealed to be a traitor who's working with the Tetaldians. Jentu, the leader of the Tetaldians, has been expecting Heath and delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle on him. The final shot is of Jentu squishing Heath under his foot.
- The Out-of-Step arc, where the Jellyfish Brains assimilated entire humanity and later majority of the alien species into cyborgs through time travel.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Subverted Trope, much to the horror of Heath and later everyone on Earth including his wife Charlotte, who the former witnessed a Dressite child calling for its parents and the latter learned from an ambassador from the alien government who revealed that Heath's deeds upon the civilian population. This news horrified Char that she broke up with him.