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Nailbiter #3

by mahargen on July 01, 2014

Story - Joshua Williamson

Art - Mike Henderson, Adam Guzowski

Publisher - Image Comics


Redneck lynch mob?  Check.

Quickly piling up body count?  Check.

Creepy mortician?  Check.

Masked serial killer?  Check.


Who doesn’t love a good “whodunnit” story? There is an intriguing mystery here that is beginning to take shape.  At this point in the story, we’ve established the main characters of Buckaroo, Oregon, a town with a sordid history.  Our grip on the world is tight, so we can hold on for the ride to come.  That is, when Williamson is  ready to take us on that ride.  I’m a fan of this series, but I’m most impressed with the pacing of the story and Williamson’s restraint in keeping the story in the present.  It is pretty obvious there is a hell of backstory waiting to be told, but the details are being rationed out in a way that doesn’t cheapen the story set in the present.  


Buckaroo is a town on the edge, and it is very much one of the centerpiece characters of this story.  There is a haunting darkness that echoes through these pages.  The various townspeople react differently to the presence of death.  Some treat it in a callous manner, whereas others look for answers and immediate justice.  There’s a lot to be said about bandwagon mentality and jumping to conclusions, but a sign of a great writer is when one can see aspects of themselves across a varying range of character types.  This town is about to explode, and we’ve only just finished the third issue.


The teaming of Williamson’s dialogue and Henderson’s matured, yet still slightly cartoonish, style steals the show in this installment of Nailbiter.  Everything plays out very cinematically.  The film geek within me enjoyed how the various interactions between characters played out on the page before me.  Everything that took place in the police station was top notch.  That isn’t to say the rest of the book was lacking, as these 22 pages went by very quickly.  Those scenes in the police station and the morgue were just golden.  I could hear the voices.  I could hear the flickering of the lights and the footsteps of the characters as they made their way through the building.  This is exactly what I want from a comic book.  Something that isn’t just read, but experienced.  There have been glimpses of that level of skill from Williamson’s work in the past, and I think he and the art team of Henderson and Guzowski are going to nail it on the first arc of Nailbiter.  



Matthew can be found on Twitter as @mahargen.  He really doesn’t want to talk about the Belgium/USA game right now.  Too soon.  Sob.

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