Nailbiter is the story of a small town in Oregon named Buckaroo that over the years has spawned a bunch of different serial killers. Throughout the town's history, many have come to investigate and try to find out the secret of Buckaroo and what is causing these people to turn into murderers. This series focuses on Crane, the Sheriff of Buckaroo, Warren, a serial killer that got off of his charges and lives in the town, an Army interrogation specialist named Finch that has been called to the town to try to find his friend, a journalist that had made a major discovery into this small town's secrets as well as Alice, one of the local teens.
Issue 25 starts us off with the newest and most unknown butcher, clad in all black and wearing a helmet with large horns, dragging Alice into an underground chamber. He is telling her that they are similar in that when he was younger, he too was very curious about the town and the kind of people it was creating, but before he could find out the secret the town affected him too. They come to an agreement that he will tell her the secret of the town just so long as she takes “the test.”
Meanwhile Crane, Finch and some guy named Morty (whom I suspect is the mortician) are investigating any clues as to the location of both Warren and Alice, as they are all under the assumption that Warren is the one that took Alice. A woman shows up and tells them that Warren would have taken her to the school, and after a small altercation between Crane and the woman, they head there.
I really don't want to go into much more detail after that. If you've been following this story for this long, you're probably chomping at the bit to find out what happens next. I've been following this story pretty closely from the beginning and will tell you that I am still impressed and drawn in by each new issue. The art by Mike Henderson has been solid since the beginning. Like all artists, you'll find maybe a wonky eye or a little bit of a depth issue in a panel or two here and there, but for the most part, I always enjoy his work, especially during the scenes where someone is murdering someone. He does the art in such a way that there is a lot of movement in the scene, which makes for a better book.
Joshua Williamson is the writer of the story, and he too has remained solid from the start. Characters like Warren can be charming and terrifying in a turn of the page, while others like Finch are stern and determined with every word bubble. Teens are also written like teens, not like an adult's idea of what teens sound like. The story itself is enthralling and well-written, with good twists and turns. There may be some seemingly clichéd characters here and there, but they usually reveal to have more going on under the surface.
Overall I've truly enjoyed this series from the start. I would love to go on and on, but if you've made it this far in the series, you wouldn't want it ruined anyways. There is no recap page in this book, so if you are just starting on this series and enjoy a goody mystery, go back and pick up the trades.
[su_box title="Score: 5/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Mike Henderson
Colorist: Adam Guzowski
Publisher: Image Comics
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital