Nailbiter has that perfect balance of detective work to mysterious action. I think that is what gives this comic such a good edge over other detective stories. They aren’t trying to do too much to confuse the reader into oblivion. Instead we get a straightforward murder mystery known as the Buckaroo Butchers. Buckaroo, OR is a small town that isn’t known for much of anything until recently when the Nailbiter put this town on the map. He is a known serial killer from the town, but somehow got off with his charm and a great a lawyer. When he comes back to town, people start to whisper about Buckaroo and come to realize that 16 serial killers have come from this town. It is cursed and more and more people are trying to make this town better by their own means. One of these men we met last month in the morgue. Although this hooded goblin looked evil, his intentions were good. We learn a lot more about this man and his motives in the town. Finch and Crane are there to receive the news while also digging up the first of the 16 killers, Book Burner. Since one of the serial killers is missing from his grave, Crane and Finch have a hunch that more are missing as well. It is clearly turning into a conspiracy theory. I don’t think Finch, Crane, or even the reader knows how much the Nailbiter knows. He knows something, but we probably all like to think that the Nailbiter has changed and will eventually help Crane. The comic has set up the Warren’s character, the Nailbiter, perfectly because the audience wants to trust him. He hasn’t done anything right but only we will say he hasn’t done anything wrong. We get drawn into his charm and somehow forgive him for ripping his victims’ fingernails out before killing them.
But Finch and Crane are our main characters. And I like following them around through most of the story. They get to the information and are eager to find Carroll, who they think is the closest to finding the truth about Buckaroo than anyone. I think most can assume that he was taken by one of the killers, but knowing if he is alive and even where he is all comes into play with the issue.
This has been my favorite issue of the series, and I don’t exactly know why. I think the story just played out well while being in the graveyard. As more answers are unfolding, it is clear that new ones are popping up with each ending of Nailbiter. Although Finch’s discovering is disturbing, I think Warren’s is more of a mystery. Plus to see how it all ties in with solving Buckaroo Butchers will be a task, but one that will no doubt entertain me.
Writer: Joshua Williamson Artist: Mike Henderson Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 8/6/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital