“Nailbiter #10” brings us the latest installment of writer Joshua Williamson and artist Mike Henderson’s twisted tale of a town infamous for producing serial killers. The issue is another solid step in what has been a very strong series for publisher Image Comics. Tension has always been something this series has done well and this issue in particular is probably the most intense yet.
“Nailbiter #10” opens up right after the previous issue’s end with a group of school children abducted by a crazed bus driver. The resolution of that conflict takes up the bulk of the issue and Williamson handles the dialogue with care and together with Henderson creates a violent end worthy of what we’ve come to expect from the series.
Henderson’s art is great as usual. His figures are polished and crystal clear and the only visual misstep that I noticed in my reading was a missing face on a character despite the angle allowing us to see the character next to her. Throughout the chase of the bus driver and the bloody climax of that scene Henderson keeps the work tight, building tension and clear throughout the action. Insane characters look thoroughly insane and a gorgeous splash page makes a disturbing plot twist into a visual that’s hard to turn away from.
If you’ve been paying attention to this series over the past year then you’re undoubtedly aware that Williamson and Henderson have a penchant for ending issues with cliff-hangers. “Nailbiter #10” has one of the more intriguing cliff-hangers that I can remember this series having. In particular it’s encouraging to see one of the lead characters, not spoiling which one, really let loose.
One last bit to mention that was particularly intriguing this issue was the teaser as to what might be causing the Buckaroo butchers. It’s hard to tell whether Williamson and Henderson are ready to openly explore that piece of the story or whether this is simply a misdirection. Perhaps there is no answer, or it’s a question we’ll never find the answer to, but that doesn’t make the teaser any less exciting a lead to chase down.
“Nailbiter #10” features some more of the titular character, but more exciting, it promises more to come. The Nailbiter has been the most under-utilized pieces of this series and the prospect of him playing a larger role in the story to come is an exciting one indeed. Nailbiter has been an awesome series even despite his usual absence and this issue is probably the best one from this series so far. We’re really starting to get some payoff from the plot and characters and Williamson’s dialogue continues to be crisp and pace at a decent clip. Henderson has maintained the high level of quality in the visual department and readers of this series that have been around for a while will only find more reasons to stick around after reading this issue; especially considering the Hack/Slash crossover is happening next month!
“Nailbiter #10” earns 8.2/10