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In Nailbiter #21, Alice was going through a bit of a crisis. Now recovered from her time spent at the hospital she finds herself homeless, and her classmates are aware that she is the daughter of Edward Charles Warren, The Nailbiter. If things couldn’t be worse, some of those classmates had kidnapped her only to use her as some sort of sacrifice.

Nailbiter #22 is the second part of the “Bound in Blood” story arc and continues where the last issue of Nailbiter left off. Alice, is in the woods and a number of her classmates are now dead, but she isn’t alone. For several pages Alice thinks she is talking to her kidnappers, instead she is talking to The Butcher of Buckaroo. Who was seen at the end of the last issue killing them.

Who is this mysterious masked killer? We still don’t entirely know, but writer Joshua Williamson drops a huge hint during Alice and the Butcher’s discussion.It’s a revelation that somehow ties back to her parents Edward Charles Warren and Sharon Crane.

Meanwhile, Finch and Warren are traveling back to Buckaroo together. They are building some sort of bond together. It is a bond that feels like a buddy cop movie. The more I read the more I get the feeling their relationship is somehow inspired by Lethal Weapon. Finch is the gruff military guy similar to Danny Glover’s character Murtaugh, and Warren is the zanny wild man similar to Mel Gibson’s Riggs.

Nailbiter #22

Crane also catches up with The Blonde in a diner. We get some more backstory on The Blonde and how exactly she was able to return home to Buckaroo. The logic for her most recent release doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but the two women address it being illogical. It feels as if their is more to the story then what The Blonde is letting on, or perhaps there is unnamed person pulling some strings. That isn’t directly stated, but with any great mystery your mind starts to create theories.

As Finch and Warren return back to Buckaroo, the two are engaging in conversation. While driving Finch reveals some previous unknown information to Warren. Warren acts sporadically and begins to bite Finch. This results in a car accident. If there is any moment in this issue that was a weakness, it was this moment. Warren’s behaviour seemed bizarre, especially considering their semi-friendship they are developing with one another. It also isn’t completely clear what purpose this serves in the plot, other than giving Warren a chance to run off and be on his own. Overall, this issue was really good. Joshua Williamson is doing an excellent job writing this series.

Nailbiter #22

There are still a few unresolved questions from the last issue. Mainly, who was the person that Alice is seen murdering? This isn’t really a detriment at all to the comic. I think somehow that reveal will be coming towards the end of the story arc. These questions are like fishing bait. You want to keep biting at the hook just to see what happens next in the series.

Part of what makes Nailbiter great is the mystery surrounding the town and its characters. “Bound in Blood” feels like it is moving in a direction where some of the big questions will finally get answers. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this story arc.

Artwise the book still looks amazing. I give a ton of credit to Mike Henderson’s abilities as an artist. However, this time around I’d like to shower the colorist with some praise on this issue. Adam Guzowski really adds depth to the art. He can make a seemingly horrifying scenario in a comic look absolutely beautiful. Alice in the woods with The Butcher is beautifully colored with dark blues and blacks.

Nailbiter #22

The Verdict

Nailbiter #22 is a must buy. It continues to move the plot forward of the overall Nailbiter storyline while dropping some big hints that look to affect the story and the character in a huge way. Art and writing are top notch. Warren’s behavior in the car seems odd and uncalled for, I can’t decide if this is a detriment. Hopefully, we get an explanation in an upcoming issue.

Comic Book Review: Nailbiter #22
Pros
  • Some important clues are revealed
  • Great Art both on pencils and colors
  • Blooming buddy cop relationship between Finch and Warren
Cons
  • Warren’s bizarre behavior in the car
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