‘Nailbiter Returns #1:’ Comic Book Review

I was thrilled to see a new Nailbiter title in the queue from Image Comics. If you don’t know, Nailbiter is the absolutely epic, three-volume tale about a town, Buckaroo, Oregon, that has a dark past of being the birthplace of sixteen infamous serial killers, the Buckaroo Butchers. The most well known of those serial killers is the Nailbiter. The mythology that our hero police officers and FBI agents dug into throughout the first series was just as deep and complex as the characters themselves.

Jumping a few years into the future, the Nailbiter’s kid, Alice, is now a full-grown teenager. That brings with it some issues of interrelating with people, especially in such a small town. She makes her way home to find her mom Lila (a major character in the first series) missing and the bathroom blood-soaked.

Cut to San Antonia, Texas, where Nick Finch, the FBI agent with an anger issue from the first series, has found himself a new home life, but within short order, he’s called to Oregon, where they’ve found a fresh body that seems to be the victim of a serial killer from thirty years ago. And we’re off to the races.

Williamson’s pacing and storytelling expertise is nice to dive into again, but really, Mike Henderson’s artwork really, truly brings this series above and beyond. Here, we see that he is exceptional at drawing big, juicy eyeballs. He’s good at showing the morbid stuff without turning you off completely. Together, they find a dark joy in the material that really makes it a fun and easy read. With all the twists and turns that the first series took, I am already all in on this new venture.

Serial killer stories are bread and butter in the storytelling biz. There’s something about seeing inside the head of a sociopath that stirs the imagination. This series, and this world, has a real beating heart at its center; it is not just here for exhibition. And #StoriesMatter, because the creators allow the reader to explore themes of death and horror, but also life and kinship, in such a heightened and pulpy way way that it feels safe.

Creative Team: Joshua Williamson (writer), Mike Henderson (art), Adam Guzowski (colors), John J. Hill (letters)
Publisher: Image Comics
Click here to purchase.

Go to top