Review: Nailbiter Returns #1

Nailbiter Returns #1

Nailbiter Returns #1 takes us back to the world of serial killers and mystery. For those who never read the original series, Nailbiter, this first issue does an excellent job of dropping you into this world and catching you up. For new readers, it’s an entry point. For longtime fans, it’s a return to a world of blood, bodies, and horror.

To catch new readers up sixteen of the world’s worst serial killers were all born in the same town. The previous volume solver and buried that mystery… right? Well, violent copycat murders imitating the infamous Buckaroo Butchers have begun on Portland, Oregon bringing Agent Finch back into this strange world. Instead of Sheriff Crane, he’ll be teaming up with Alice, the daughter of one of the serial killers, the Nailbiter himself, to solve this mystery.

Accessible. Leaving you wanting to already know the answers. Slightly scary. Nailbiter Returns #1 is a solid debut comic that builds the tension and delivers some shocks. Writer Joshua Williamson nails, no pun intended, the first issue with all the beats and surprises you’d want from this type of story. There’s not traditional scares but definitely a lot of “wtf” moments that’ll have you excited for the next issue.

There’s such an ease of going into the first issue. With an excellent previous volume, it’d be easy to rely a bit too much on knowledge from that. While I read that volume, it’s been so long, I don’t remember a lot of specifics. So, this debut felt like a fresh read and it delivers just enough info that you’ll feel caught up.

Part of what makes the comic so good is the art by Mike Henderson. There’s such a good use of panels and framing of a scene. The right details are focused in on. Along with the colors of Adam Guzowski and lettering by John J. Hill, the comic delivers chills without the gore. At times it approaches the line into gore porn but never quite crosses it. There’s added smarts there as it allows our minds to fill in the gaps and horrors we imagine can never be equaled by what’s on the page. There’s a good use of letting the reader fill in the gory details.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Mike Henderson
Color: Adam Guzowski Letterer: John J. Hill
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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