Last issue of Nailbiter Returns concluded with Alice discovering that her serial killer father had an ex-lover who also lived in Buckaroo. This week, we get to see what that means for the current craziness our protagonists have been facing.
Snappy Spoiler-Lite Recap
- Flashback: Edward Warren’s still unnamed ex puts on a severely over dramatic performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for their classmates.
- Something tells me that line she just screamed is going to be important.
- Warren is enthralled. Shanon Crane…not so much.
- Back in the present: Nothing like a father telling his daughter how much he used to get laid back in high school.
- “My secrets are mine to hide.”
- Never a good sign when you find an old chalkboard with scores from a game involving serial killers…and the chalk is fresh.
- To be fair, I’d scream at my child too if a hallucination made me think they looked like that.
- Another flashback, another eyeball popping.
- “Bye-bye, high as balls Finch.”
- Once again, Agent Grey acts as the eyes/voice of the reader, this time by screaming for someone to explain what the hell is going on.
- I can definitely see why Warren liked the girl from his past.
- Welp, just got one of my biggest questions from the last series answered in the most disturbing/disgusting way possible.
- Yikes…as if Portland wasn’t already weird enough.
As usual, Mike Henderson’s art is superb. This time, however, the hallucinations the characters experience allow him to really cut loose and give us some delightfully monstrous visuals. Henderson also brings the eye gore to a whole new level, which I loved as a reader, but also made me cringe as someone who’s extremely sensitive about their eyes being touched.
On the story side of things, I’m honestly not sure how to feel.
On one hand, we finally got a great answer to something I’ve been wondering about since the last series ended along with Joshua Williamson’s usual great dialogue.
On the other hand, the reveal of who’s behind the renewed carnage is a bit of a letdown. There were a few seeds planted before their arrival, but not enough to make their grand entrance (and their extensive abilities) keep from feeling like something out of left field.
And we still have no idea how these killers are coming back or how to gauge their varying degrees of indestructibility (my current guess is that it’s linked to their eyes). In a series that’s consistently excelled at paying off its mysteries, a character who was such a big part of Warren’s past AND can clone serial killers should have been mentioned/discussed much more before now.
That being said, though, I do love where the new big bad’s plan is going. In addition to how it ties in with the previous series, it raises the stakes higher than anything we’ve seen from the Nailbiter franchise before.
Let’s hope this fascinating new plot thread is accompanied by some more answers next issue.
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