Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Mike Henderson
Published by: Image Comics
As far as filler issues go – and make no mistake, this is a filler issue – this was one that was thankfully easy to tolerate. “Tolerate” is kind of a loaded word and I only mean some of the negative connotation that comes with it. As a rule I’m not a huge fan of these types of issues; the kind that is meant to give us a break from the intensity of the series. The intensity is why I show up every month, so taking that experience away can be a frustrating prospect for a reader. However, this issue certainly isn’t without merit. For one, it’s a pretty solid piece of exposition for Alice. It also manages to tell a solid tale of Buckaroo and the lengths people will go to be famous.
Selling your soul to the devil for fame and glory isn’t a new concept but creators Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson put an interesting spin on it. Alice takes center stage for this issue about a mother obsessed with having her child in Buckaroo so that she can be famous. Whether you choose to believe or not is up to you, but if you invest in the story and don’t think about it too much, it turns out to be an interesting commentary. Alice is a complex character and while we don’t necessarily know her any better after the shenanigans of this installment, we at least know there is depth to her character that was hitherto unforeseen.
Henderson’s art has really looked great in the last few issues as the tension and action have reached an early height for the young series. This issue with a more subdued script, Henderson backs the visuals a little bit to render a character-driven story that looks very good. It might not be the most exciting issue of the week but it is far from being shoddy or tiresome.
When the issue concludes there is little doubt that many readers will be clamoring for the next issue, both because Brian Michael Bendis is joining the team for a one-shot, but also because it promises to continue the story that hooked us in the first place. I often wonder whether issues like this ever cause readers to leave a series they were iffy about.
“Nailbiter #6” is perhaps the weakest installment of the series so far. Thankfully, the series has been very strong so being the weakest issue so far doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a good read. Alice remains an ominous player in the series, or at least appears to be. That should make matters interesting going forward, as most of these characters seem to have more than a few secrets and skeletons in the closet.
“Nailbiter #6” earns 7.1/10