Down on his luck and drunk as a skunk, Heath Huston, alien exterminator, stumbles upon a corrupt and immoral alien race using religion as a justification to drain a sun of the energies that sustain it. This race of scumbags always finds a rationale to put economic bottom lines before the cost to life and the environment. With no love for money-grubbing, heartless manipulators, Huston hires himself to stop the twisted operation in hopes of saving the lives of billions of creatures . . . and maybe for a bit of personal satisfaction.
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Remender offers up his foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, hard-fighting sci-fi antihero for several interpretations in a collection that manages to show off the best of the character’s possibilities. A sorry shadow of the earth-protecting Fear Agent he used to be, Heath Huston is drowning his guilt over the loss of his family in liquor and the mindlessly violent work of an alien exterminator. The biggest name among the contributors would have to be that of scare-master Steve Niles, but all involved supply enjoyable, thrilling, and sometimes beautiful (see Hilary Barta and Paul Renoud’s “Princess of Rongor”) tones and styles of action, horror, and sci-fi in homage to the great EC comics of the 1950s, which Fear Agent was conceived to honor. Remender contributes the longest tales here, violent and, occasionally, incredibly disgusting: the last story requires Huston to suck fluid from the womb of a giant spider queen to save his own life. There is also, however, an undertone of melancholy in some of the tales, which invests them with a haunting quality that is hard to forget. --Jesse Karp
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