Nailbiter: Serial Killers Will Often Help If We Ask Nice Enough | Comic Review

Nailbiter Vol. 1 :There will be blood

Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Mike Henderson
Publisher: Image

Buckaroo, Oregon has given rise to sixteen known serial killers, all just as creepy as the other. This has given the town a bad reputation, but no one truly knows how so many murderers come from such a small place, so Detective Eliot Carroll assigns himself to figure it all out. He then makes a call to his friend, Officer Nicholas Finch, to come find him, since he trust his friend has the skills to completely solve the mystery, however when the cop arrives into town he discovers Carroll is missing, and that there might just be another murderer on the loose. Aligning himself with Sheriff Shannon Crane, he must go and try to find what has happened to his friend,  and what exactly is happening in this town, including a backstory to Sheriff Crane, a girl who seems to want trouble, and a town of people bent on revenge. And also, he must seek the help from Nailbiter, one of the Buckaroo-Sixteen murderers, who has connections with many people in town, positive or negative.

“Warren’s modus operandi was to kidnap innocent men and women who had the habit of chewing their fingernails. Warren would keep them captive until his victim’s nails grew back, and then chew their fingers down to the bone before ultimately killing them.” -This is the guy that will help them throughout. 

This story offers two things so far, a character study of the most renown of the killers, Nailbiter, and a horror story that seeps through the pages. There is little known of Nailbiter, and even less of the other killers, but we know it will be revealed in slower doses throughout subsequent volumes/issues, but the character study is not all about the murderers, at least not at first glance. Each character here has something to hide, something to achieve, so we are given snippets of their lives, and we must try to piece them together to discover who they are, what they have done, and what they might do. We get scenes of a town scared of themselves, suspecting any of them could be the next murderer, dark and abandoned streets, a creepy store that sells memorabilia of each of the killers that also serves as a museum, pouring rain, the odd teenagers, and main and side characters with relations to the killers, creating an air of suspense and doubt in every single person depicted here. This is exactly how we should feel when reading a horror story, no jump scares or useless information, but a well-thought out view of a place and people that will show instead of tell.

The main theme so far is whether or not serial killers are born or bred. Which one is it? The science is still not sure, although so far I agree it ought to be a bit of both, but I cannot wait to pick up later volumes explaining more about this town’s murderers, their reasoning, their normal lives before being discovered, and how they manage to have such lives without anyone suspecting( which tends to be a trend with serial killers in general), and more panels of their gruesome murders.

A mix of Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Dexter and probably a bunch of other things, will provide a creepy story for the winter months, and in my case, all year-round. It is gruesome, and as such, not to everyone’s taste, but it deserves at least a quick look through, there is beauty to be had in the pages, even if they are disgusting and gut wrenching. 


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