Comic Book Review: Nailbiter #30


After thirty issues this is it Nailbiter fans. Hard to imagine its been how long now since the start of this mystery and case began? Again I admire the answer they had given to why issue #30 would mark the end. Everything about the way this story, the plot and its characters said enough about the thought they put into us reaching this extra-sized series finale. I remember when Nailbiter first began I was thinking this would turn into the comic version of Hannibal or something. Though look at where we’re at now? Nailbiter made its mark in horror and creativity in plot.

These past three issues moved fast. Everyone was gathered in one place for the big show. The master was revealed to be someone right under our noses the whole time, and the town has been hit in a way they might not be able to recover from this time. Now this last issue things started very differently than what I was expecting. Nothing new of course as you never know what to truly expect until the moment comes. What you did come to expect with that said was the horrible truth of why sixteen of the world’s serial killers were born and raised in the same small town. Just when you thought you had everything figured out, the true revelation gets you because it was then when you could understand everything that was done and still being done to cover up that secret. They always said that it would be dangerous if the world found out the secret and it all makes sense now.

What came after was a surprise as well. There are plenty of scenarios you could have assumed to take place in these moments, but knowing that this is the end they cut the crap at anything and everything that would have distracted us from getting to the end. That kind of approach just gets your heart racing because there’s so much to take in for such a short amount of time. Whose going to lie? Who’s going to die? How can anyone after these events ever go back to a normal life? All these things are just running through your head at the same time because there were no brakes or pause to what is the end of the road. Again like I said some issues ago, all of this proves that they had an end in mind for Nailbiter. That is something I can appreciate because you had a complete thought process about getting from point a to point b.

Among the truth of the serial killers, they did excellent with how the subject of Warren was tackled. What they did here with him during a time where there were no more secrets was genius. No one would sit there bracing themselves for the worst that could come from him or entertaining the idea that there was more to him than what we’ve already seen. But we were all caught off guard when what is cleared up about Warren is exactly what we couldn’t see because the answers were right on the surface. Since the very first issue in fact.

Considering this is an extra-sized issue, I think most fans will be grateful that they used this time wisely to avoid leaving the story without tied loose ends. Which didn’t mean just things involving what happened in the tunnel, but addressing the things that came after. Particularly along the lines of how those who survived lived their lives after. Some like to leave those questions up in the air, but I feel like it would have been a disservice if they ended this any other way. Not to say they didn’t hit you with the biggest cliffhanger at the end!

Nailbiter #30 is without a doubt the best issue from this art team. This issue took us to so many places that they were able to stretch their legs in a way that they were unable to before. What really made this such a great issue for Mike Henderson is that he was able to fully embrace all these characters in their true nature. The horror comes from these characters really getting into the things that they do best. The madness, fear, bravery all those triggered emotions in just that scene in the cave sold it for us not knowing just what we were preparing ourselves for. Compared to many artists out there it goes without saying that I love that murder face that Henderson draws. It’s wonderfully exaggerated in a way that captures the intense madness any single one of them could experience in a moment. For Warren in particular it was heartbreaking for the understanding of who we were dealing with at the core. As for Adam Guzowski, what’s more to say then the fact that this guy knows how to set the mood for a story. Did so well transitioning between scenes as well since not all of this took place in just the cave. For this very issue is was easier to take in the blended he handles so well when it comes to the background and scenery. Not just the warm colors, but everything else that had atmosphere to it. The sun, the nature, even the use of whites which could have yet didn’t overshadow that key action sequence at the end. At the end of the day it was thanks to Guzowski that we were never distracted with what screamed terror in Nailbiter.

This is how you do horror. I can’t believe it has really been three years, but it was worth it to see this through to the end because not once did Nailbiter feel like every other horror story on shelves. They thought outside the box to always keep us on our toes. Nailbiter #30 wrapped everything up so well even if some might say that the very last scene could have been cut. Otherwise perfection.

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