Previously in Nailbiter #11
Okay. Let’s get this out of the way: Reverend Fairgold is an asshole, but damn it… I kinda feel sorry for him. His wife still thinks their son, Hank, is alive. Even after he reminds her Hank is with the angels, she still asks him to tell Hank not to be late for dinner. My sympathy didn’t last long, but more on that in a bit.
Crane receives a surprise visit from Finch and he has the beaten Warren in tow. They’re both pretty upfront about what happened: Finch beat the shit out of him to get him to talk. Now, Finch wants Warren to tell his story in front of Crane. It has to wait though as Agent Barker arrives and Finch and Warren are forced to hide in a closet.
Now, at this point, I was like, “What the fuck?” I was sure Barker was killed or still being held hostage after witnessing two of the killers dismember Old Bee Dude. The fact that she was rambling and unable to remember how she got the bump on her forehand only served to raise my suspicions. She wants to warn Crane about Finch, but Crane cuts her off – partly because she doesn’t want to gossip about Finch, but mainly because he and Warren are hiding in her house.
Barker snaps and stabs Crane in the stomach, and then digs into the wound to smear Crane’s blood all over her face. But it’s okay because it was just happening in Barker’s clearly fucked up imagination. I was relieved, but I low-key wanted to punch Joshua Williamson in the face. Don’t play with my emotions!
Barker offers up one last warning about Finch before leaving.
Meanwhile, Fairgold is having a town meeting in the church and he’s riling folks up. Donning weird masks and robes, they vow to fight for their town with righteous fire. See. This is why I don’t go to church.
Warren tells Finch and Crane about one of the Buckaroo Butchers’ family: The Kennys. Their son, Walter, left town and became a clown. Then he started killing people to see how many he could fit into a clown car. As a boy, Warren would do odd jobs for Mrs. Kenny and witnessed the harassment they received from the reporters constantly camped outside their home. One day, Mrs. Kenny told Warren it was her fault her son killed people. When she moved to Buckaroo ‘they” promised to cure her of her “urges.” She reckons she passed those murderous urges on to her son. Before she can say more, her husband calls her inside. Later that same day, Warren returned to their home and found their bodies, dead from a murder-suicide.
The story is just getting good, right? Well, Warren refuses to say more until they take him to the serial killer graveyard. Finch and Crane agree, and think they’ll be able to take backroads to avoid being seen, but when Crane opens the door she finds Fairgold and his Freaky Followers.
- I’m enjoying getting back into comic books, but geez, they’re so short! I suppose that’s a sign the stories are good when you don’t want them to end.
- One of the things we mentioned on our book club podcast covering the first volume of Nailbiter, was how the story felt like watching a horror movie. This still holds true as the transition between scenes sometimes make you think something entirely different is happening. For instance, in this issue, we first see Crane as a closeup of her hands cutting food. It could have easily been someone dicing up a body part.
- I kinda called it last issue that Barker would become a serial killer. Her murderous fantasy leads me to believe that will happen. And if it doesn’t, I’m certain Barker will never be right again.
- So, who are “they?” Are all the serial killers the offspring of former killers or would-be killers?