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Nailbiter #21 Review

Comic Books

Nailbiter #21 Review

After issue #20’s explosive cliffhanger …and an excruciating three-month hiatus… the best comic of 2015 is back!

The series leaves behind a lot of blood and broken lives in Atlanta, returning to where it all began in Buckaroo, Oregon.

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Is it good?

Nailbiter #21 (Image Comics)



  • Geez. We go from ending with a shocking double page spread in issue #20 to starting off with one in #21.
  • I imagine going to high school in Buckaroo makes Sunnydale look quaint by comparison.
  • …especially if you’re Alice.
  • Crane/Finch somehow make a really good team.
  • Not too sure about Crane and Marigold, though.
  • Buckaroo: Where the return of closed businesses and past residents is not exactly a welcome idea.
  • Geez, poor Alice is really having a rough time of it.
  • Looks like the people tormenting her can expect to get it a lot worse.

Is It Good?

As usual, Mike Henderson is a master at making everything look beautifully normal before hacking it all to bloody, well-drawn bits. In addition to his superb pencils, credit needs to be given to colorist Adam Guzowski for making the gore scenes pop. He also does a great job with the color red…which I know sounds like a weird/kind of stupid compliment, especially on a horror book. But it’s not just a way for him to show copious amounts of hemoglobin. Red is also used to foreshadow danger while also violently (but effectively) rocking us from lucid to psychotic POV panels.

As far as Josh Williamson’s story is concerned, there is a lot to like. Aside from a bizarrely slapstick moment involving Warren, the character interactions are highly enjoyable. Of particular note is the attention given to Alice, who looks to have an even more interesting story than I’d initially anticipated.


The is also very new reader friendly. If you’ve never read an issue of Nailbiter, you could still pick this one up and follow the story.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of set up with very little action until the end. That’s pretty standard for the first issue of a story arc, but so many things from the last volume are still up in air. Agent Barker’s massive break down only gets one panel. It’s a really good panel, but I definitely would have liked to see more.

That being said, I really like how the board for this new narrative is being set. And that ending…good lord. Mike Henderson delivers once again. Unfortunately, he and Williamson have also created yet another heart-stopping cliffhanger ending.

Thankfully, we only have to wait a month to see what happens next.

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