“Nailbiter” #2 pushes the serial killer fascination to a whole new level with a deeply engaging look at what makes Buckaroo, Oregan such a special place to live. Joshua Williamson spares no time getting into a rich history of murder and just when you think you’ve figured things out, he blends his history into something entirely new.
“Nailbiter” is stunning. The story defies anticipation and goes to marvelous lengths to redefine comic book horror. Mike Henderson has brilliantly crafted slasher movie tropes into his art and the book is infinitely more chilling for it. It’s hard to gush about it without spoiling the magic, but rest assured the perspectives at play on these pages will actually haunt you.
The mystery deepens within the opening pages. We’re treated to a resolution to last issue’s final page reveal that adds more intrigue than answers. Finch’s temper basically channels our frustration into the page. He’s looking for answers and the deeper he looks the more confusing things become.
Everyone is tied together in Buckaroo. Small towns exist within a tangled web, and when you pull at one thread you pull at them all. Finch learns this hard and fast. Things start to implode and as if to celebrate someone sets fire to Carroll’s motel room. From here Williamson plunges the script into darkness. He takes a wild tour through some insane and terrifying killers that haunt Buckaroo’s past. Each of them are more unique than the last, and prove that Edward Charles Warren was a pussy compared to his coworkers.
Mike Henderson will get under your skin this month. He’s really flexing his skills with this book, and if he’s use of one-panel insanity flashbacks don’t get you than you’re stronger than I. He does something this issue that effectively changes the game for horror comics for all time. The warped perspective of a serial killer takes its full toll and Henderson ensures you’ll feel the whole thing. It’s a bone chilling sequence and one of the most exciting and terrifying things I’ve experienced in my life.
“Nailbiter” comes with a hefty recommendation from those of us at Bloody-Disgusting. I can’t even fathom where this story is headed but it’s an enthralling and horrific look at what makes a town go insane. Chances are good Williamson still has plenty of surprises left up his sleeve, and Finch’s anger still hasn’t really got the best of him.
With a unpredictable narrative, innovative paneling, and a rich horrific setting “Nailbiter” is everything you could want in a horror comic, in fact it’s the crowning achievement of the genre, and it’s only two issues in. It’s my new favorite comic on the stands. I’ll be biting my nails in anticipation as I go through the agonizing wait for #3.