Reviewed By Torin Chambers. “Nailbiter” #10 shows the title has finally stumbled and produced a comparatively weak issue. 9 out of 10 isn’t a bad batting average, in fact it’s stellar, but not all stories are created equal. When stacked up against the incredibly high quality of previous issues this one stands out like a sore thumb. It’s a cramped and entirely too convenient tale that feels completely disconnected from the Nailbiter we’ve come to love. It’s muddled at best and incomprehensible at worst.
WRITTEN BY: Joshua Williamson
ART BY: Mike Henderson
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: February 4th, 2015
Picking up relatively soon after last issues infinitely unsettling cliffhanger. The children’s bus driver, Mister Crowe, has gone mad and intends to kill all of the kids with the twisted logic that he’s saving their souls, so then they can’t grow up to be serial killers. Sheriff Crane tries to calm the parents who’ve all gathered at the children’s school demanding answers and justice, and rightfully so.
Crane is soon joined by Finch and Agent Barker looking to help in any way they can. This is where the issue goes off the rails. The local priest is going off again as he always does which leads Crane to pressuring him into helping them. He says he might know a place where Crowe liked to pray. Then the next page they’re just there, the hunt for this guy took all of two pages and really one sentence. It’s all much too convenient, not to mention what was Crowe doing that whole time? Was he just patiently sitting there with a bus full of crying kids waiting for the cavalry to show up and try to stop him?
The location must be somewhere out of the way which means it can’t be a hop and a skip away from the school or people would’ve seen the bus. So now that the good guys are perfectly positioned to save the kids Crowe drives them into the lake. Obviously Crane and Finch dive in after to save the bus full of kids, but as they do so Agent Barker does absolutely nothing. This is an entire bus full of kids that just plunged into a lake so Crane and Finch could definitely use help, or not. Somehow they manage to save all of the kids in what seems like an incredibly short amount of time.
Then Crowe somehow manages to save himself but they leave one of the kids out there with him, why? Crane is clearly shown swimming away from the child, who’s out in the water about 5 feet from the psycho who just tried to drown all the kids. It doesn’t make any sense to me. This whole scene is a mess, a tangled mess.
The issue does pick up a bit after this and the ending is totally rad, but not good enough to save the issue. It’s a rare misstep from Williamson but one I’m sure he’ll bounce back from going forward. Nailbiter fans will still find some nuggets of fun here but this is will definitely be remembered as a black sheep.
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