I love Matt Kindt’s work, but there’s something uniquely special about Fear Case. Maybe it’s the fact that Kindt and Tyler and Hillary Jenkins (This being the third comic that they’ve worked on together.) have just found a way to jive that other creative teams don’t get the opportunity to.
Before I get any further, let’s discuss what Fear Case is about. Secret Service agents are given a year to solve an unsolvable case. In this instance, it’s about a literal case that is tied to an urban legend that sounds a lot like The Ring. It’s essentially an evil chain mail. “Give this case to the person you hate the most, or it goes to the person you love the most.” Bad, gruesome things happen. The two agents on the case (Yes, it’s a play on words.) this time are close… very close… but getting close seems to be having a strange effect on these protagonists.
Every time I finish a panel, I want to immediately read the next one. That is beyond being a page-turner. That’s because each new panel introduces something that makes this entire series that much more intriguing. There’s an idea, a concept, a character, a reaction, a steady descent into something that’s just out of reach, and maybe forever unreachable, but you can’t help but continue to reach out. Even though the idea of the case is abstract, maybe it’s so abstract that it connects with a deeper need or desire within us all. Maybe the themes of passing something terrible on to the ones we hate cuts very close to home with how everyone interacts on social media. There’s something about this series that’s working on all of the rights level and then some.
The images feel alive in ways that films from the 1970s do. Mitchum and Winters feel very real in a way that I haven’t quite felt from a Kindt story. He likes to toil with slightly elevated characters in incredibly elevated situations. Even the characters from Grass Kings, despite being fairly realistic depictions, felt still a step or two just outside of reality. I feel like I could run into these agents tomorrow, and the patient, yet nicely paced, elevation of this low-level insanity is truly gripping.
Creative Team: Matt Kindt (writer), Tyler Jenkins (art), Hillary Jenkins (color), Daniel Chabon (editor), Chuck Howitt (assistant editor), Josei Christensen (digital art technician), Patrick Satterfield (designer), Mike Richardson (publisher)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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