Kara O'Connor

Grade A Cut of Meat – Nailbiter #2

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The murderous rampage continues with the serial killer serial, Nailbiter #2, as Joshua Williamson adds on the crazy.



Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Mike Henderson
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date:  June 4, 2014
Price: $2.99

Image’s next piece in the ongoing Nailbiter puzzle, a horror mystery story set in the Pacific Northwest, resumes its creepy crimson stained plot. The narrative uses the newest issue to linger sweetly on Edward Charles Warren, more commonly known as Nailbiter due to his taste for chewing the fingers off his myriad of victims. The second entry starts us off in the recent past where Warren is on trial for an excess of charges including kidnapping, torture and murder. However, for whatever reason, Warren is let off without so much as a wrap on his own bloodstained knuckles and sent smiling back to his home in Oregon.

Back in the present, officers Shannon Crane and Charles Kohl are searching for missing NSA agent Nicholas Finch. While visiting the now free Warren to ask some questions, the Nailbiter cooks a bloody mess of meat over a hot stove and reminds the officers that he doesn’t have the inclination for eating his victims whole, but other serial killers in Buckaroo might.

The story cracked open in Nailbiter’s second entry, and clearly the pace of bloody mayhem in Buckaroo is exploding.  Warren’s sly confidence and off-color jokes made him feel creepy and real to the point of dreading ever being alone with a character like him. Moreover, the introduction of some of the other serial killers in town – known as the Buckaroo Butchers – were a colorful addition to the cast. I vigorously enjoyed reading about The Terrible Two, evil twins who only kill other twins. There’s also The Blonde, a sassy and sexy killer who sews mens mouths shut when they have the nerve to catcall her – my kind of lady.

Unfortunately, Williamson lazily decided on a typical and rather boring good cop/bad cop dynamic for Crane and Kohl, but there are other relationships in the story that are surprising, strange and different enough to rectify that oversight. I wouldn’t be surprised if Crane and Kohl’s relationship ultimately does develop into something much more interesting down the line.

The references to meat in the issue both excite and sicken as they elicit comparisons between cattle and the story’s human victims. Meat IS murder, after all. Mike Henderson continues to add a bloody palette to Williamson’s quippy dialogue and scintillating story. I also appreciate Henderson’s  female characters which are drawn with realistic proportions instead of the overly sexualized tropes that often surround women characters in horror.

At this point, I am definitely stuck on Nailbiter like a cow on a meat hook.


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