Written by: Matt Molgaard
Nailbiter is an interesting read. It has the makings of a genuine masterpiece, but it’s left more than one fan (and critic) displeased, a direct result of Joshua Williamson’s refusal to resolve the ongoing tale’s mysteries. And I can completely understand that complaint. Even as arcs are wrapped we’re still left with a few of the core questions posed in the story’s early workings unanswered. It gets a little tiring reading through a good 20 books without receiving those answers you’ve been craving. The craving can indeed eventually die down.
Of course Volume 1 doesn’t collect 20 books (wouldn’t that be a staggeringly awesome collection?), it collects the first five issues. And in these issues we’re introduced to the small town of Buckaroo, Oregon and the strange folks who make up the town’s population. Including the descendants of 16 infamous serial killers. Finch, a disgraced interrogator and Crane, the sheriff of Backaroo are forced to look into the eyes of evil on more than one occasion as they attempt to get to the bottom of a mystery filled with compelling twists and turns.
The book looks brilliant thanks to Mike Henderson’s excellent artwork, and the coloring is perfect, the blood always finding a way to stand out on the page, the characters sporting diverse and varying, distinctive appearances. Henderson’s good, and he’d better be, illustrating for Williamson and his sharp narrative. The man tells a captivating tale and it’s loaded with a whole slew of unexpected details and clever micro-mysteries. This is a guy that gets it. From the content he’s writing to the platform he’s pitching from, he understands how it all works and that is deeply appreciated.
Again, I’ve got to side with those who are calling for Williamson to bring a few subplots to an end. While Volume 1 won’t leave you frustrated, you could easily get there after 20 issues. That’s how deep we are into the series, and there are still a number of issues begging to be tackled and wrangled. We want some answers. I love the book, but for the love of all things good about this comic, let’s get a few things aired out and done away with.
If you’re a slasher fan, or you get a particular kick out of serial killer stories, Nailbiter will leave you absolutely enchanted. It’s an impressive piece of work, handled by an extremely impressive duo. Volume 1 is a fan favorite book, and it stands to continue gaining more fans with time. This is easily one of the finest Image titles out there, and arguably one of the greatest to ever be published by the fan favorite publisher.
If you’re wise you’ll look into Nailbiter soon. This is must-read material, to the nth degree!
Order it right here.