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Nailbiter #19

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By Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson & Adam Guzowski

As Nailbiter delves further into its current arc, things start to become messy – in a good, ghoulish way. Agents Finch and Barker have stumbled upon a new murder in Georgia and Edward Warren is present, leading everyone to believe him to be the Georgia Devil as well as the Nailbiter. As they struggle to make sense of everything, more of Warren’s history and agenda is revealed. Meanwhile, Crane continues her mission to delve into Buckaroo’s roots, but she has to prepare to come to terms with some of her antagonists as well.

This is the second issue in a row where there isn’t a lot of jaw-dropping beats taking place, but that seems to be the point. There is a lot taking place in terms of character development. This time around, readers finally find out some of Edward’s past actions and their motives. Before, Joshua Williamson would make the character and his gestures/words very ambiguous to his true intentions and nature. Yes, some of his past and childhood has been shown in past issues, but that was only one piece of the overall puzzle that is the Nailbiter. Williamson has hit his audience pretty hard with gritty content in the past, which is great, but now it seems he wants to give everyone a strong sense of who these players are; make us empathize or understand their thinking. He’s relying on his talents for characterization and dialogue to show his range. My gut tells me that something major is about to happen soon…

Depicting a character’s descent into madness or darkness is a trope that is always ripe for creative interpretation. Mike Henderson and Adam Guzowski have proven that time and again on this series. This arc has focused heavily on one character’s dangerous journey. Henderson tries to make the panels that show this shocking by placing them between usual fare, which, blended with Guzowki’s shocking red backgrounds, delivers the intended effect. It’s no doubt difficult to come up with inventive ways to jolt an audience in sequential art, but these two are able to find it pretty consistently.

This series continues to be captivating. It’s a testament to the creative team’s work so far to make the story and characters interesting enough to entertain readers without having an explosion or death taking place every other page. The interactions and dialogue work so well. Fans need to keep holding onto Nailbiter and not let go.

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