Nailbiter #30 by Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson, Adam Guzowski, John J. Hill and edited by Rob Levin
Art
Plot
Characterization
Summary
In NAILBITER #30, the creative team stick the series finale landing, answering a mystery that has been plaguing fans since the beginning, while also delivering some satisfying shocks.
100 %
An Intense Finale
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The following review contains some spoilers for NAILBITER #30.
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Just under three years ago, NAILBITER #1 hit the stands. It centered around Buckaroo, Oregon, a town notorious for being the home to over sixteen serial killers. When CSA agent Finch came to town, he was looking for his missing friend, FBI agent Carroll. What he found instead was an age old mystery and the notorious Edward Warren, the Nailbiter, the worst of the serial killers. #1 was engaging, full of dark humor and panel-to-panel chills/gore. The creative team, Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson, knew how to construct the perfect horror comic. Thirty issues later and in an extra-sized series finale, the truth behind Buckaroo is finally revealed. Was the journey, with ancient burial grounds, secret mazes and references to one of the most famous killers of all, Jack the Ripper, worth it? Does the series give the answers the reader craves? For me, the journey and destination were perfect, a rewarding and sense shocking ending to a worthy comic series.

READ: We review the penultimate story arc of NAILBITER!

NAILBITER #30 opens up with a nerve-wracking throwback to the past, reading like a typical opening to a slasher movie: a cold open that ends in terror and blood. A young woman is walking to her boyfriends house. She keeps hearing chewing noises as she advances towards an ominous red door… Henderson's pacing here is spot on, each panel dragging us closer to the horrific reveal on the third page. Adam Guzowki keeps the color scheme to monochrome, with a dash of blood red, a foreshadowing of what's to come as we turn the page. It's effective. The artist and colorist are in sync, building to a subtle, yet violent, moment. John J. Hill's lettering here is the icing on the cake, the perfect placement of words on this horrific tableau. It sets up the pace for this rest of NAILBITER #30, unnerving, yet spurring the reader to go on.

NAILBITER #30

From there, we cut back to Buckaroo in flames as the result of the bombs placed by Morty in the last issue. They reduce the town to timber and ash. Beneath its crumbling foundations, at the entrance to the Gauntlet, our heroes and villains enact the final scene of this thriller, where not everyone makes it out alive. We finally find out how Buckaroo became the home to so many serial killers and how Warren fits into this macabre mystery.

WATCH: We interview Mike Henderson, co-creator and artist of NAILBITER!

NAILBITER #30 is intense, Joshua Williamson wrapping up mysteries in a whirlwind of satisfying reveals while adding in a few hints that maybe, just maybe, Buckaroo isn't the only town with its “unique problem.” Henderson goes big here, a mixture of violence and gorgeous splash pages as Buckaroo and the Gauntlet begin to crash down around our cast of players. One of the most gut-punching moments, though, is finding out how Warren fit into the whole mystery surrounding Buckaroo, shedding a whole new light on him. It's dizzying and makes you re-evaluate his actions and character throughout the series. It's an amazing culmination of creativity, with the writer, artist, colorist and letterer bringing everything they had to this issue.

NAILBITER #30

As with any classic horror/thriller series, everything, to a degree, gets wrapped up quite nicely. But we're not done yet. With an ending that is part Psycho, part Fatal Attraction, NAILBITER ends on a perfect note, a haunting scream that could mean the death of a hero or the last gasps of a monster. As such, NAILBITER #30 finishes with the reader wanting to read on. That's what any good series should do when they wrap up, leaving the reader satisfied, yet hungry for more. NAILBITER isn't just a good series, it's a great one and will be missed from the shelves of comic stores everywhere.

 

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