Previously in Nailbiter #17
This might be one of my favorite issues of the series. So much happened that I was sure it had more pages than usual. However, Mr. Williamson himself assured it’s the same length as the others. And while there was a lot covered here, it didn’t feel crammed; the jumps between stories were perfectly timed.
This series gets a lot of things right with this kind of story. It spent ample time fleshing out the main characters (and I would argue that Barker is one) so that their motivations are clear, and there are delightful callbacks to incidents from their past. In this issue, Finch uses the fact that he interrogated a man… to death… with his fists… to intimidate Daniel Castle, who is maintaining his innocence despite being related to the Buckaroo serial killer, The Good Samaritan. Later, when Finch reveals how he “snapped” that day, Barker wonders if he had experienced headaches prior to that.
Yup. She’s still having very violent “I Wish a Motherfucker Would” moments. I can relate. I wish a motherfucker would at least three times a day because people are pretty much the worst.
Considering they have no evidence on Daniel, and the fact that Finch believes he’s not the Devil Killer, Daniel is cut loose. However, Finch does think he’s hiding something so he and Barker follow Daniel as he proceeds to have the shittiest.day.ever.
After Daniel’s last disappointment, when he yelled out, “Motherfuck!” I laughed out loud. If you’ve seen the second season finale of The Leftovers, you know why. P.S. You should be watching The Leftovers.
We don’t get much of the goings-on in Buckaroo, but what we witness continues to build the mystery. Crane strikes out when she goes to review the records of the townspeople: the FBI has already taken all the files that were left after the town’s library burned down. She goes to the old library’s current location and finds it’s a church. And then she’s attacked. And you can probably guess who did it. Two words: Church. Asshole.
We also only get a tiny bit of Warren this go ’round. Finch and Barker bust him with his hands dirty. Literally. With blood.
“It’s not what it looks like. I swear.”
This fucking guy. I kinda love him.
Another solid issue, but I had to tick off a bit for the lack of Carroll and Alice. While Alice is most likely still unconscious (she did almost die, after all), I would have been nice to learn how Carroll’s debrief is going since he seemed to be very close to solving the mystery.
Barker’s violent hallucination in this issue might be my favorite. It wasn’t as gruesome or massive like the last one, but it was savage and unexpected.
Speaking of Barker, I’m a big fan of the way Henderson illustrates her facial expressions. There are two panels where she’s in the car with Finch, spying on Daniel, and she just looked so vulnerable. It was the first time she felt like a real person. And as I’ve said a ton of times before, the reveal of what was done to her should be a good one as it has to tie into the town’s production of serial killers.
The use of flashbacks when we learn about a new Buckaroo Butcher continues to be excellent.