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Nailbiter #24 Review

Nailbiter’s thrilling ‘Bound by Blood’ story arc continues with an issue that reveals more of the book’s mythology than ever.

Is it good?

Nailbiter #24 (Image Comics)

nailbiter-24-cover

Observations

  • Normally, a chilling flashback resets to the present with something a little less creepy. That is definitely not what happens here.
  • Congratulation to artist Mike Henderson for the most disturbing Game of Thrones visual reference ever!
  • Finch is definitely back in his element. That means hard hitting questions, even harder hitting punches, and a tiny dose of uncomfortable sympathy for the person being interrogated…
  • …or maybe not! Good lord!
  • Can’t believe I almost forgot about that guy.
  • Definitely won’t be forgetting about him after that last panel, though.

Is It Good?

Sometimes, the best part of a mystery is the potential and possibilities that can only exist in the unknown. JJ Abrams talks about this a with his Mystery Box concept (or as I renamed it after 10 Cloverfield Lane, the Bag o’ Bulls**t).

Like many of us found out with Lost, pulling back the curtain to reveal major narrative secrets can obliterate what had previously been an intriguing/enjoyable journey.

Thankfully, it looks like Nailbiter is (so far) doing things right.

nailbiter-24-change-the-world

For starters, the revelations we get are genuinely cool/good. They also grow from story seeds planted years ago, which lead us organically to different questions. Not “OH C’MON JUST TELL US ALREADY!” questions, but new plot threads that add to the already fascinating narrative.

That being said, Nailbiter #24 does suffer a bit from being a single issue. It might read a lot better as part of a trade, but in this format, we get a few moments that are a little hard to navigate. One scene in particular is so incomprehensible and grotesque that it almost sinks to the level of slapstick comedy.

Fortunately, the main characters of Nailbiter continue to drive the meat of the story. That’s thanks in no small part to Henderson, who continues to do as great a job with his characters’ expressions and moods as he does with the gore.

Writer Joshua Williamson also deserves a lot of credit for the series’ current pacing. Too little information, and the reader gets frustrated. Too much, and the suspense is gone…

…or maybe that’s me being an impossible to please jerk.

Either way, Williamson strikes a perfect balance of revealing new info and adding new layers to his twisted tale, all of which Henderson portrays with ample amounts of humanity, horror, and hemoglobin.

Every volume of Nailbiter as been strong thus far, but ‘Bound by Blood’ continues to make a case for being the best one yet.

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