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Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson talk comics and killers with 'Nailbiter Returns'

Comic Books

Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson talk comics and killers with ‘Nailbiter Returns’

The sequel to the hit 2014 series hits shelves in June.

After debuting back in 2014, Nailbiter quickly proved itself to be an exceptionally fun and terrifying horror comic. After capping its 30-issue run in 2017 (with one heck of a crazy ending), creators Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson hinted at more tales involving the Buckaroo Butchers.

Next month, those stories finally begin to unfold with Nailbiter Returns #1. We were able to get an advanced look at the issue, which completely lives up to the hype (and then some). We were also able to touch base with Williamson and Henderson, who were kind enough to answer a few of our most burning questions about the new series/chapter.

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Nailbiter Returns #1 is set to hit shelves on June 3 via Image Comics.

Nailbiter Returns #1

Courtesy of Image Comics.

AIPT: What made you decide it was time to bring Edward Warren & Co. back for another series?

Mike Henderson: There were a lot of factors, not least of which was timing. But after a few years gone our separate ways to opposite ends of superhero comics, our awesome readers still hadn’t stopped asking if we’d do more some day. We always had a feeling we’d come back to it, but as I was wrapping up Dead Man Logan, the timing just seemed perfect. 

Joshua Williamson: Ever since the first series ended we’ve talked about the story pieces we left behind. The questions we left unanswered on purpose. And we’ve talked ideas and story on how to bring it back, and what kind of story we wanted to tell. We landed on some big fun ideas and then it was just a matter of timing. At the end of 2019, the universe finally showed us a path. 

AIPT: How has the world around the burned down remains of Buckaroo changed since the end of the first series?

JW: Not a whole lot? It starts the day after the last series ended. And the major secrets of Buckaroo have stayed secret…at least for now. 

AIPT: How heavily does this new series tie into the mythology of the first one? 

MH: Heavily. It’s nothing short of a direct continuation. We spent more than thirty issues building a mystery that had more facets than we could ever have hoped to wrap up in the first series.

JW: Like Mike said, it’s a lot. But we tried to set it up so if someone came in fresh, or didn’t remember everything from the first series can still come in fresh. We’re playing with some different ideas and tropes in this one. 

AIPT: Does the beginning of Nailbiter Returns #1 continue directly from the crazy ending of Nailbiter #30

JW: It picks up the very next day. But you’ll see over the series that the ending was not exactly what we thought it was. The eyes can be deceiving. 

'Nailbiter Returns' #1

Courtesy of Image Comics.

AIPT: Will this series look at other towns with bizarre histories like Buckaroo? Will we take any detours to other locations like the last series did with ‘Devil Went Down to Georgia?’

MH: Well, we kick off Nailbiter Returns in Portland and if Portland does anything well, it’s bizarre. 

JW: The next two arcs of Nailbiter Returns really all take place within a few days. So we mostly stay within Oregon. For most of the big scenes at least. We have a few small moments that jump around. We do have a few ideas for stories that take further away but its way too early to get into that. There is a long term plan to get far away from Buckaroo to some areas we haven’t been to before that was also teased in #30 and will be teased again in these arcs. 

AIPT: Alice and Sharon Crane made a pact to tell the world about The Gauntlet (but not the serial killer test). Have they done this yet? If not, do they plan to?

JW: Crane wrote a book, but it hasn’t been published yet. You’ll see at the start of the series…the mother and daughter team have a lot going on. 

AIPT: Any chance we’ll get to learn more about The Gauntlet — or maybe get to run it with the characters?

JW: Yes, and you’ll see an even bigger version of it then was under Buckaroo. And yeah, we’ll run it. It’s going to be crazy. One trick with The Gauntlet though is you don’t want to give it ALL away as you want it to stay mysterious. But someone might be building a bigger and scarier new one…

AIPT: Will we get to see any new Butchers?

JW: Yes and no. You’ll also see some new versions of long thought dead ones. Sorry for the vague answer, I just don’t want to spoil anything.

Nailbiter Returns: Buckaroo Butchers

Courtesy of Image Comics.

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