Day #228: Nailbiter (Image Comics)

[ Joshua Williamson | Mike Henderson ]

Synopsis:

[From Image Comics:] Buckaroo, Oregon has given birth to sixteen of the vilest serial killers in the world. An obsessed FBI profiler investigating the town has suddenly gone missing, and now an NSA Agent must work with the notorious serial killer Edward “Nailbiter” Warren to find his friend and solve the mystery of “Where do serial killers come from?”

My take:

I really like the concept of Nailbiter. There’s something about the idea of exploring the roots of a town that has produced sixteen serial killers – and the effect that this would have on the town and its inhabitants – that just tickles my fancy. Particularly when you throw in hints of something – a curse or conspiracy? – that expands the story beyond being just a character study.

HOWEVUH.

Ten issues in, I feel like I have a lot of disparate pieces of information, a handful of questions, and very little in the way of an overarching narrative. And while this normally wouldn’t be an issue (given that ten issues isn’t really that much, depending on how far they intend on taking it), the fact that there’s been at least one issue that felt entirely like filler so early in the run – a story about a woman coming to Buckaroo wanting to give birth to her baby there, so he’d become a serial killer and she’d become ‘known for something’ – is vaguely worrying.

Similarly, most of the characters are a bit one-note at this point in time. To some degree this can be explained away by the fact that a lot of them are still in the process of being introduced – or dying – but the two main characters, Sheriff Crane and Finch, also feel a bit thin at this point in time.

As long as these issues are dealt with at some point in the not too distant future, though, I do feel like Nailbiter still has potential. I’m definitely still interested in seeing where they’re going to go with the question of where serial killers come from, and why the town of Buckaroo seems to be producing so many of them.

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