“Nailbiter” #6 slows down, shifting its focus to Alice and to a lesser extent Sheriff Crane. If you were looking for a continuation of last month’s huge developments then you’ll be let down, but only slightly. This is Williamson we’re talking about here, so the quality is still through the roof. It feels very much like a one off, not introducing anything we didn’t already have an idea of. Instead it gives Nailbiter a much deserved breather after that roller coaster of a first arc.
WRITTEN BY: Joshua Williamson
ART BY: Mike Henderson
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: October 1, 2014
Reviewed By: Torin Chambers
Alice is the star of the show this month, becoming our narrator and the lens with which we see Buckaroo Oregon. She briefly summarizes the events of Nailbiter so far, making this an ok jumping on point for new readers. I say ‘ok’ because there’s nowhere you should start Nailbiter other than the beginning, but moving on.
Next we’re introduced to the central conflict of issue #6, Mallory. She’s an about to burst pregnant woman who’s come to Buckaroo to give birth so that her son will become a serial killer which will then in turn make her famous for having birthed him. Definitely NOT the kind of person you want raising a child, or even near one. She tells all of this to Alice before she starts having contractions. Naturally Alice rushes her to the hospital where all kinds of shenanigans begin. There’s a particularly gruesome scene here that had our very own Editor Zac Thompson gagging, so that’s something to look forward to.
Although the hospital gore is awesome, the conclusion to Mallory’s story is a huge missed opportunity and a bit of a bummer. [Spoiler Alert] Mallory does give birth near the end of the issue and it’s incredibly lack luster. She has a couple contractions they get her on the ground and the next page the babies out. No fuss, no nothing. I’m assuming there’s a time gap between the pages but it still feels rushed.
The whole sequence screams of being cut short and would have greatly benefitted from at least a couple more pages. I understand there’s only so much one can do in an issue but I felt this could have been an oversized issue and really give the story it’s trying to tell more breathing room. On top of that it’s also uncharacteristically tame for Nailbiter. I was buckled in for something absolutely horrific to occur during the birth but nothing.
This one off doesn’t satisfy as deeply as Nailbiter normally does but it’s still wholly enjoyable in its own right. Mallory’s tale is an interesting one, even if the payoff is weak. Once again, Nailbiter proves that even when it stumbles its still leagues ahead of other comics.
Torin Chambers is a rad dude from the nineties who does film stuff or something. Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite transformer. Find him on Twitter @TorinsChambers