I must’ve missed the modern technology in the first issue; Fear Case doesn’t take place in the seventies, they just drive a seventies car and artist Tyler Jenkins has a timeless (well, seventies-ish) style.
The issue opens with a quick recap of the soft cliffhanger—one benefit to writer Matt Kindt’s verbose expository dialogue is quick recaps fit naturally—with our heroes investigating the next recipient of the titular Fear Case. Turns out they’re a little too late but not too too late because they’ve got another lead, which turns out to be solid enough there’s a car chase.
Along the way there’s enough time for one of the heroes—they’ve got names (one is Mitchum, sadly the other isn’t Douglas or McQueen or Eastwood)—to start having Cthulhu-like visions since the Case sometimes leads to horrific imagery out of an Avatar Alan Moore comic.
It’s solid enough “character development” but since the characters don’t matter it just ends up being mood development; also fine. Fear Case, thanks to Jenkins, is all about the mood. It’s about suspecting the unknown of being knowable; a suitcase causing Lovecraftian horror is a big suspension of disbelief, making the idea of Secret Service agents on a literal mission trip to find it seemingly less absurd on its face.
But, again, Jenkins’s art is there to hold it all together. Jenkins is even able to get away with making the shitty racist guy look like Trump without it breaking the tone.
There’s another—even softer—cliffhanger this issue, with promises of more impending doom next issue. It’s far from a wheel reinvention but it’s also great looking; Fear Case evens out nicely enough.