After last issue’s mind-blowing cliffhanger, Nailbiter is back for its last issue until October (I know that’s only a one month break, but this is my favorite comic—cut me some slack). Is it good?
Nailbiter #15 (Image Comics)
The issue opens with a flashback to Sharon Crane in high school. She doesn’t seem to have quite accepted that her boyfriend is a serial killer, but she’s definitely aware that he’s a douchebag. She’s also about to tell something very important to her mother when the action jumps back to the present. Crane and Finch are pumping the giant-scary-armored-monster-thing with bullets, but they don’t seem to be doing much good. And as if the situation weren’t urgent enough, Alice is bleeding out.
Warren, Finch, and Crane run away with Alice in tow. They are able to hide from the Butcher of Buckaroo, but not for long. Fortunately, Warren decides to play the arrogant hero while also giving Finch his first really solid lead on the town’s strange history.
Unfortunately, Finch ends up finding himself in a different type of trouble than being hunted by a scary monster. We also learn a shocking secret about Crane’s past, get a small glimpse of something that actually scares Warren, and a very important person finally starts talking.
Is It Good?
While not quite as gripping or effective as last issue, Nailbiter #15 is still an excellent issue. As usual, writer Joshua Williamson demonstrates his mastery for making the reader constantly turn each page to see what happens next….
…which okay, is obviously how you’re supposed to read a comic (or any book). But you know what I mean. Each new page builds towards something. While plenty of comics end on cliffhangers or do a couple of mid issue page-turn revelations, Nailbiter makes almost every set of pages a new revelation.
“….starting to think my taste in men kind of sucks.”
As usual, Mike Henderson’s art is also on point. There were a couple of gruesomely awesome panels, but the best one might have been Crane’s big revelation.
Speaking of that, it was the issue’s high point for me. The issue’s other revelations were good, but didn’t pack the same punch. We knew it was only a matter of time before Finch got pinched for his off the books behavior. Also, I’m not sure how I feel about this mysterious character that took out Warren. Unlike most of the revelations the series has given us, this one didn’t have a whole lot of information behind it. I trust Williamson to make it good, but it still feels a bit ‘out of nowhere.’
But other than that, Nailbiter #15 is another amazing chapter in what has become my favorite comic book series right now. Like every issue before it, this one’s filled with gorgeously rendered action sequences, a dash of visceral gore, great dialogue, a masterfully constructed/executed plot, and top-notch storytelling. Buckaroo, Oregon may be churning out some horrific people, but Josh Williamson and Image Comics are churning out some wonderful books.