Nailbiter Vol. 2 & 3 | Review


Published on Apr 16, 2018


Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon became a duo, essential for the comedy american thanks to the film The Odd Couple. In Nailbiter sheriff Crane and agent Finch, would be a pair of typical crime thriller, if they are not accompanied by a third “intruder” who is able to give a touch of black comedy with a surprising comic thriller/horror, with facets that are humorous.

Edward Warren, the “Mangiaunghie” the protagonist of Nailbiter, the one that gives the title to this series Image Comics by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson, is a character well-written and all-embracing, capable to be integrated in the facets thriller/horror plot as well as in those from a black comedy. Nailbiter is a fantastic homage to the tradition of the slasher, with a touch of modernity that is able to give sense to an expansion of the times narrative, at times in the comic books of Image Comics, is not well justified.

Volumes two and three of Nailbiter manage to be so effective, how brilliant. The second volume is titled Hands Bloody, and deserves reading even just for the two episodes of open: the first has as its protagonist a woman willing to give birth to her child in Buckaroo, with the hope that the influence of the city can turn into a future serial killer.

The second episode starring none other than Brian Michael Bandis. The cartoonist of Marvel (just passed in Dc Comics) is the star of the exception to a sort of fill-in metafumettistico during which you will travel to Buckaroo to work on a comic dedicated to the serial killer. But the threats of the town of Oregon will desist from the purpose.

During these episodes fillers Nailbiter shows all its originality, and proved to be capable of maintaining a high level of attention and curiosity even in the moments of pause from the narrative's main (thing that other comic series that is struggling to do). So much so that the narrative style, and the originality of the episodes fillers, used by Joshua Williamson, is reminiscent of the Vince Gilligan of X-Files and Breaking Bad.

But the narrative is always present: indeed continuing the search for new serial killers of Buckaroo, the one who has mutilated and reduced end-of-life agent Eliot Carroll, who has driven in the city of Oregon the Fbi agent Nicholas Finch. On the other hand the local sheriff Crane, along with her ex-boyfriend of serial Killer Edward “Mangiaunghie” Warren will try to support Finch in the investigation, digging ever more deeply into the mysteries of Buckaroo.

The second volume of Nailbiter is highlighted, in addition to the excellent episodes of fillers, even for a few moments, shocking: as the crowds attempt to Thomas Crowe, the driver of the school bus, to purify the young students of Buckaroo. Or the meeting between the agent Finch and the psychopath haunted by the api.

The repertoire of original characters, well written and well represented in the Nailbiter, is a further strong point of the series, that manages to intrigue both for his writing, that for a dense main plot able to keep attention high and the mystery, revealing something, but not everything.

Important for the evolution of the plot remains the third volume is titled Blood In the Water, in which it traces, through an entire timeline based on the flashback, the relationship of adolescence between the sheriff Crane and the mangiaunghie Warren.

Nailbiter can be considered one of the best series produced by Image Comics in the last few years, and brought to Italy by Saldapress. An author of the calibre of Joshua Williamson (writer also of Ghosted and Birthright, and engaged with Dc Comics on the run of the Flash) managed to weave a plot can intrigue the reader, while keeping the interest level high even during the moments of pause from the narrative's main. Writing and telling time Nailbiter are probably one of the best examples in recent years of writing a comic series.

There are also excellent drawings by Mike Henderson, co-creator of the series along with Williamson, who is able to give visual effect to the times narrative, impeccable of the american screenwriter. Nailbiter, you would be well given to a style of drawing more realistic, but would have made even more harsh and violent some of the scenes. The style of Henderson, on the other hand, is sharp and not too attentive to detail, and can be further enlivened and lightened by the colors of Adam Guzowski, which tends to make it less hard and splatter some of the scenes visually strong.

Nailbiter is, therefore, mandatory reading for all fans of the thriller/horror genre, and slasher. But it is also an excellent read for anyone who wants to approach a comic able to keep the tension high and the sense of mystery, describing characters from the original and well characterized. A reading absolutely recommended and capable of involving the reader in a plot from which, in certain respects, and never want to leave. Provided you are not afraid of the serial killer.


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