Matt Kindt and Tyler and Hillary Jenkins have worked on three series together: Grass Kings, Black Badge, and now Fear Case. Once I saw that the series was coming down the pipes, I got very excited. Each collaboration between the three has gotten better and better, and it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that we’re off to a smashing good start with Fear Case.
David F. Walker (Bitter Root, The Life of Frederick Douglass, Power Man and the Iron Fist) brings us another fascinating story in The Hated. The story is set in an alternate history, when President Lincoln and Jefferson Davis agreed to a truce to end the Civil War that devastated the nation. Under the terms of the agreement, the Confederate States would remain autonomous with slavery intact, though it would be illegal in the northern states. These laws have little meaning to the Confederate raiders who cross state lines to kidnap free Blacks and sell them into slavery; however, in North Kansas, there is an ex-slave by the name of Araminta who takes exception to this. Using her skill, wits, and sheer doggedness to hunt down them down, she discovers the raiders are venturing farther north, and she will risk everything to stop them.
I was left at the end of Nailbiter Returns #8 with a big question mark. The creators made a decision that could have sent the story spiraling off the tracks and into a ravine, but I’m happy to say that they wisely used a McGuffin to dig further into the past and who the characters are. I am also happy to report that writers Williamson and Henderson pushed further into a realm that I was hoping they would have explored in the original Nailbiter series: the supernatural.
After the events of “Blue Sun Rising,” we flash forward an unspecified period of time, post-Serenity film. There are hints here that much (if not all) of Dark Horse Comics' Serenity stories have been absorbed into canon here; however, the crew is not where we previously left them, suggesting some major fallouts off-page. Without getting into spoilers, suffice it to say that there are plenty of surprising revelations within these 22 pages.
Jeff Lemire’s Colonel Weird: Cosmagog, an extension of the Black Hammer universe, was made all the more enjoyable by the inclusion of one of my favorite artists, Tyler Crook. His painterly skills create a lush universe for the larger-than-life characters like Anti-God which is a breathtaking monstrosity under his care. His earthy palette follows Weird through his life, bouncing around from one time period to another as he tries to find the missing piece to a comic puzzle that leaves him vulnerable to his own madness. How would you react to knowing how everything was supposed to work out, but knowing that you had to make sure it all happened, the good and the bad.
Why? That is the question that has been coming up for me in the last handful of issues of this series. As readers, we now know how the monsters that kill children and terrorize small towns appear, but why? I feel that there may be a deeper psychological answer that Tynion and Dell’edera will leave up to us to figure out. On the other hand, if they end up giving us a clear-cut answer, I won’t complain.