By Rick Remender (writer), Tony Moore (pencils), Ande Parks & Rick Remender (inks) Lee Loughridge (colors)

Fear Agent’s done something I never thought would happen: It actually moved me. Collecting issues #12-15, this third trade paperback, titled “The Last Goodbye”, steps away from the outrageous action and follies of Heath Huston. It takes us back to a time just before the war on Earth started, exploring the full origin of the alien attack and the Fear Agents themselves.

At first I thought I was reading the previous trade because some of the original pages of Heath coming home and spending time with his family (right before the alien attack) were reprinted. But soon enough, we actually get into the devastating events of the war and it’s not pretty. Forced to hide underground for months, Heath nearly goes insane before finally coming up to the surface to see what’s become of the world. The Earth has become a battleground between two races of alien armies – neither seems friendly to Earth’s natives.

Taking the rest of the survivors and finding a few jumpsuits along the way, Heath forms a resistance of sorts to take the fight to the aliens. Eventually, they find a way to eradicate one of the alien races by sending a doomsday bomb to their homeworld. There’s definitely some huge morale implications to be considered here, but Heath, driven by vengeance, is rendered completely blind to the situation. He follows through on his plan only to find out the race he killed, well, I’m not going to spoil it for you.

There’s plenty I’ve left out about the synopsis, because I urge you to pick this book up. If you’ve never read the series, go buy the trades now. The first two are pulp science fiction fun, loaded with Silver Age concepts, lots of action, and pure scoundrel attitude. But this latest trade tilts the series on its head, showing us just how tragic our protagonist is and what drives him. Rick Remender also shows us that he can write more than just science fiction hi-jinx, as well. And Tony Moore? He gives us nothing but brilliant pencil work. (Grade: A)

– J. Montes

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