Previously in Nailbiter #14
Nailbiter is more than a graphic novel – it’s an experience. In the span of three pages, I squealed, gasped, and yelled, “Oh, shit!”
This issue picks up right where the previous ended – well, after a one-page flashback, which I don’t want to spoil for you here – with poor Alice stabbed through the back by the man in the horned mask. Finch and Crane open fire, sending the killer back into the shadows, but they know he won’t stay away for long.
They’re forced to, once again, rely on Warren as he directs them to safety. But things have changed since he last explored the tunnels and the three of them, plus a wounded Alice, are forced to hide beneath a sea of body parts when the masked man returns. Henderson’s ability to create stomach-turning tension is on full display in these panels. Very little of your imagination is needed to get that it’s a situation filled with a fuckton of nope.I mean, he’d have caught my black ass because I don’t think I could have done it. Props to Finch and crew.
They’re momentarily spared again, and Warren offers up directions out of the tunnels by doubling back, while he’ll remain behind to distract the killer. Here, we get three vital bits of info: the man in the horned mask is one of the Buckaroo Butchers, NOT a new serial killer, this all has something to do with “The White Chapel Project,” and Crane should look into the grandfather of Doctor Glory. As much as I wanted answers, at this point I was yelling, “Time and a place, people! Do the Q&A later!”
Of course, the killer returns so Warren can do his hero act. It’s hilarious how Crane is all, “But, we can’t just leave him,” and Finch is like, “The hell you say.” Finch ain’t tryna hear it. His attitude is pretty much “Fuck Warren and everything he stands for.”
While they hustle above ground, Warren is left to deal with not just the man in the horned mask (I should probably shorten that, huh? MITHM? Horned mask man? HMM?), but a shadowy figure who seems to be calling the shots. He orders HMM (Let’s go with that.) to chase the others while he punishes Warren for being a pain in the ass.
I’m assuming when he says, “Bring back the girl,” he’s referring to Crane because if Alice were needed, HMM wouldn’t have stabbed her to begin with, right? Unless they need her dead. Hmmm.
Luckily, Barker was already on her way to the graveyard with backup. Crane rides with Alice to the hospital and Barker reveals that the Feds are taking over and sending multiple teams to clean up this shit show.
We end at the hospital, but not with news of Alice’s condition, but of a change in Carroll’s.
- I tried to be less spoilery because I really want you to go out and purchase this series. It continues to get better with each issue. There’s a major revelation this month that I should have seen coming, but didn’t. Once I read the issue for a second time, there’s a particular panel in which it’s SO obvious.
- The White Chapel Project brings to mind Jack the Ripper, also a notorious serial killer.
- I am still most intrigued by Barker – although Warren is fast becoming my favorite anti-hero – and what was done to her to cause these homicidal hallucinations. This issue had another one that had me going – it’s where I yelled out, “Oh, shit!”
- The mystery man mentioned that millions could die if they people knew the truth. Interesting.
- The next issue isn’t until October, but I think I’ll go back and read the series from the beginning. The hardest part of reading so many comic books and graphic novels (And I’m reading A LOT of them now), is keeping the details straight from month to month. I’ve also picked up the first three volumes of Ghosted, also by Joshua Williamson because I am now a huge fan. Being mentioned on the back cover of this issue had nothing to do with that, by the way.