By Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson & Adam Guizowski
The latest issue of Nailbiter gets a just little more meta. One of Marvel Comics’ most prominent writers, Brian Michael Bendis, is introduced into this universe. He, like so many in the story so far, is drawn to the town of Buckaroo to research a new comic he is working on…one about serial killers. As one would expect, he falls into the dark abyss that surrounds the area.
Initially, this sounded like a gimmick to hook new readers or reinvigorate the current fan base, which this book has no need for either. The material itself is strong enough to maintain interest and appeal. It was still a fascinating read, especially when Bendis meets Warren and they discuss the similarities between them. The four pages this sequence spans are brilliant and thought provoking. It’s not until the end of book, in the back matter actually, that Joshua Williamson reveals that this issue is an homage to Brian’s work on Powers which was a major influence to him. With this context, the book became much more powerful. Context is everything.
Mike Henderson and Adam Guizowski seem to know how to hit all the unsettling beats. What stood out most is, again, the sequence shared between Bendis and Warren. The key image is the double full-page shot of the two talking. The upper part of the panel is littered with word bubbles, detailing their disconcerting conversation, which is set against kids playing on a park playground on a beautiful fall day. This stark contrast between word and image is amazing and makes the content that much more off-putting.
This is arguably the best issue to date; what could have been a total sales stunt, turned out to be a heartfelt, potent nod to comics and those who craft these wonderful tales. I highly recommend this bad boy!