Previously in Nailbiter #18
So sorry this is more than a week late. You guys know how much I love my Nailbiter, so it’s not that I didn’t immediately read it upon release. It’s just that life got in the way and I’m also low-key still in Christmas vacation mode. Also, I was finalizing the outline for my next book. So busy and lazy at the same damn time. That’s me.
Something occurred to me early on in this issue: I really like Agent Barker. I didn’t realize that I’d been considering her a side character, and maybe she started as such, but since the series left Oregon, she’s taken Crane’s role – and not because they’re both women. I’ve always seen Finch, Crane, and Warren as the three characters who most define this story. Certainly they’re the lenses through which we’ve viewed it. There’s been plenty of Finch and Warren in this new arc, but not as much Crane.
Anyway, my point is that I thought Barker would be dead by now. That doesn’t necessarily mean she’s safe; I wouldn’t put anything past Williamson. It wasn’t until she had another one of her homicidal hallucinations that it hit me. I don’t really want her to flip out and become a killer. I want her to stick around. I guess what I’m saying is if she does start dropping mofos, I hope she doesn’t get caught. Yeah. That works.
In this issue, we get the full story behind Warren’s involvement with Daniel. He’d been helping a group of ex-Buckaroo natives (all relatives of one of the Butchers) settle into Atlanta and lead normal, homicide-free lives. That was until the Angel of Death started picking them off. Warren insists he’s not the one doing it, and his crazy story about escaping the man in the mask does nothing to assure Finch and Barker that he’s telling the truth. There’s only one person from their group (Frank) left, and they make plans to meet with him.
Meanwhile, Crane wakes up in the old town library thanks to Fairgold. He claims he just wants to find out who killed his son since everyone else seems to be focused on why Buckaroo is a killer factory. He’s not wrong. He proposes they team up and Crane may be making a deal with the devil himself.
Now, let’s talk about Daniel. I didn’t trust his ass AT ALL.
The group arrives at a junkyard to meet Frank. Why couldn’t a support group for the relatives of serial killers meet somewhere nice like a Starbucks? Anyway, back to Daniel’s raggedy ass. Turns out, the meeting is a setup and Frank’s trapped in a cage. He’s pointing the finger at Daniel and Daniel is all, “I didn’t do nothing!” But look at Daniel’s face (far right) when they first walk up on Frank:
Yeah, I was pretty much on Team Daniel Can Fuck Off. But then something happened with a trip wire, Frank got flame-broiled, and then Vaughn showed up and put a hot one in Daniel’s head. My reaction:
That scene reminded me of one with Olly, Jon Snow, and Ygritte in season 4 of Game of Thrones.
The only person still alive (that we know of) who knew about this group is Warren. Does this mean he’s the killer? Doubt it, but that didn’t stop his ass from dipping out once the cops arrived. Pretty sure he wasn’t in that last panel.
I don’t call out Henderson’s work nearly enough. I’m always scanning ever inch of the panels, marveling over the way he uses shadows to set the mood and bring the story to life. The scenes in the junkyard were particularly great.
I’m not sure what to make of Warren’s story about escaping. It’s interesting that Finch pointed out how he knew Warren was lying, but also felt like Warren believed what he was saying. I feel like we have to take that as truth considering what a seasoned interrogator Finch is – death by beatdown aside. Could Warren have been given something which caused him to hallucinate and now he’s taking the experience as feel?
Still waiting to see what’s going on with Carroll.