Now 24 issues into the series, Nailbiter is finally revealing some of the mysteries of Buckaroo, Oregon.
From the very beginning of the series the sleepy town of Buckaroo has had its problem with serial killers. Some of the country’s most notorious ones had once called the town home. It was a mystery as to why so many people born there turned into cutthroat murders. It was that mystery, and the disappearance of a friend that ultimately lead Nicholas Finch to the area.
Nailbiter #24 is the fourth chapter in the “Bound By Blood” storyline, and in this issue we are given a giant reveal into the town’s mysteries. Part of which is connected to Dr. Glory, who has only made a limited number of appearances throughout the comic, and truthfully a character I had forgotten about. After reading Nailbiter #24, I will likely be going through back issues to find out more about this character.
Right now in the series the four main characters: Finch, Sharon Crane, Edward Charles Warren, and Alice are divided. With Finch and Crane searching for Warren, who upon his return to Buckaroo in a previous issue caused a car accident, and escaped from Finch. Warren is teamed up with his and Crane’s daughter Alice, as he helps her search for answers to whether she will become the next Buckaroo serial killer.
This is one of my favorite series, but I have to say I was a little disappointed by the big reveal. Ultimately, without giving too much away, the whole thing is a big science experiment. I’m not really sure there ever could have been a satisfying answer to any this.
This result is probably for the best, and I would hate for a deus ex machina to happen where it turns out to be sorcery or aliens. Although, writer Joshua Williamson does write a funny bit of dialogue addressing the alien scenario.
Warren is explaining his own personal quest to discover the secrets of Buckaroo to Alice. With a bit of fun and teasing of his daughter he asks her, “Would you believe me if I said it was caused by aliens?” This brief exchange between the two was humorous, and really put my mind at ease that this was not the direction it was going in.
The occult scenario was alluded to a few times in previous issues. Although, if I’m correct this was debunked a few issues back, and then debunked again in this issue as well.
In Nailbiter #24 we see a flashback that shows a mysterious temple being constructed. When reading this issue, I believe this temple was all for dramatic effect. The temple in the present day resides under water in a lake. The main characters have traversed this temple while looking for answers in previous issues. The temple itself appeared to not be authentic at all, but rather some sort of over the top simulacrum. Possibly, to throw people off the trail of what is really happening in Buckaroo.
The question remains, now that we have an idea as to why there are so many serial killers from Buckaroo, who would finance this project? Hopefully, this will be answered in future issues.
Although, this series is consistently good, there has been at times a few awkward moments with the characters. Moments that seem slightly unnatural, and leave you scratching your head.
In Nailbiter #24, Finch and Crane are interrogating Dr. Glory in his home. Finch is threatening violence against Glory if he doesn’t get answers. For someone who is prone to inflicting pain on people, Finch is incredibly slow to react or enforce his own threats. In fact, Glory actively defies Finch. This exchange was incredibly awkward and Finch’s actions felt very out of character. He seemed so careless and did absolutely nothing to Glory.
Artwise, Mike Henderson does a great job, he always does a good job on this series. I’m not really sure what I can say that I haven’t already covered in previous reviews. Overall, this comic is good both plot, writing, and art. With the art never being a weakness in any of the issues.
Henderson, manages to make the gore of this issue, and the series, look beautiful and fascinating to look at. When Dr. Glory’s head explodes, I simply can’t look away. It reminds me in some ways to the John Carpenter movie Big Trouble in Little China when a villain’s face explodes. His style is uniquely his own, and doesn’t appear derivative of someone else.
As much as I want to give Nailbiter #24 a 10, I simply can’t. In some respects it is good that a major part of the mystery is finally being revealed. However, I don’t know if I like the idea of what it actually ends up being. Although, it seems the most logical answer, it somehow feels disappointing. Also, the Finch, Crane, and Glory exchange felt awkward and didn’t capture the essence of Finch’s character as we have come to know him.
- Major part of the mystery is revealed
- Mike Henderson’s art looks good
- The father/daughter team up of Warren and Alice
- The answer to the mystery isn’t satisfying
- Awkward and out of character exchange between Finch and Dr. Glory