Nailbiter #2: The Bloody Plot Really Takes Off

Nailbiter #2nailbiter_02
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Mike Henderson
Published by Image Comics

The Bloody Plot Really Takes Off In Nailbiter #2

The last paragraph of the review of Nailbiter #1 says, “No matter what genre this series falls into, it is sure to be a bloody, fun read.” A read-through of the second issue only confirms that as a fact. While there are still elements of a police procedural within the story’s plot, there is now no doubt about the likely gore-fest to come. This is verified within the text when Officer Finch tells the Nailbiter, “This isn’t Silence of the Lambs, murderer. We’re not teaming up.” This seems to be writer Williamson’s way of saying, “This plot isn’t really about catching criminals.”

Other evidence that supports that assumption is the discovery that Finch has a very unique expertise that his missing friend, Carroll, planned to exploit. Without revealing too much, it seems he utilizes unorthodox tactics in extracting information from prisoners. The way Finch sees it, he is an “Information Extraction Specialist.” This could lead to some interesting scenes and plot points later in the series. Without a doubt, this issue has answered some questions left over from Nailbiter #1 and, just as importantly, it has fleshed out some characters like Officer Shannon Crane, for example. However, one character in particular, has proven to be just the kind of horror-movie-type fodder for artist Henderson to showcase his splatter punk talents on. As long as Williamson and Henderson maintain this balance, fans will not be disappointed.

The story begins with a little background on the Nailbiter’s court case and the disappointment Carroll felt when the killer was acquitted. After that, readers are treated to an interview, conducted by Finch and Crane, of the Nailbiter which leads to a discussion on his gruesome, but quite hilarious, methods for butchering cattle. A mysterious fire back in town pulls Finch and Crane away, and appears to incriminate another infamous Buckaroo native, the Book Burner. Eventually, Finch and Crane settle down to have dinner at a local diner where they discuss some of the other killers on Carroll’s list, including such promising death dealers as the Silent Movie Killer, the Crossbones Killer, and the Blonde – a gorgeous woman who likes to cut out men’s tongues then sew their lips together. As demonstrated in issue #1, Williamson has some truly unique ideas for serial killers. As the issue comes to a close, the reality of the Nailbiter’s reform is once again under serious suspicion.

Joshua Williamson’s writing is brilliant in this issue with just enough humor to offset the dark subject matter. Any fear that Williamson might take this story too seriously is put to rest in issue #2. Mike Henderson’s artwork is, once again, remarkable, especially any moment where blood and gore are brought to the fore. Nailbiter #2 easily lives up to issue number one and sets the stakes even higher for the books to come. There is no doubt that Williamson and Henderson are up to the task. 

Merriell Moyer

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