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Nailbiter Returns 5 Main

"Nailbiter Returns #5" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics


Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Mike Henderson
Colored by Adam Guzowski
Lettered by John J. Hill
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 30th, 2020


What the heck happened to Sharon Crane? The Sheriff has been missing and presumed dead since this new Nailbiter series began, but now we learn the truth as to what really went down and it's pretty badass. How does this play into recent events in Buckaroo that have seen some of the worst serial killers the town has ever given birth to return?

While the scope of Nailbiter Returns has been hinted for some time, this issue give us a big ol' exposition dump to put a lot into focus. Writer Joshua Williamson provides a firmer understanding as to what's gong on with a healthy amount of the mystery left intact. Most of this we already figured out, however the connection to Sharon and the Nailbiter is pretty cool.

Click images to enlarge

As Sharon recounts what happened to her and what led to that crazy amount of blood in her bathroom, the artwork shifts to a different tone. Colorist Adam Guzowski changes the palette to a black-and-white look with the only other color being the red of all that blood. This creates a photo-like appearance that works really well to highlight the sterile horror at work.

Artist Mike Henderson spreads this out over a few pages, really letting the tension sink in. There are back-to-back double-page images that connect, showing the attack on Sharon and the scream that came out as a result. All the while, blood is splattered across the book through the darkness, like eerie red fireflies in the night.

Just as Henderson can stay on a particular image for an extra beat, giving it some extra emphasis or let a gag sink in, the same is applied for some of the more frightening sequences. Sharon's attack is another prime example, as a knife gets closer and closer to her eye. I had to look away at one point because it's just too unsettling.

Click images to enlarge

This chaos contrasts well with the giddy nature of her attacker. Letterer John J. Hill makes this excitement pop on the page with a big font. This guy is reveling in all this bloodshed and it's rather sickening.

The action heats up in Nailbiter Returns #5 with some great pulse-pounding moments. All signs point to a specific place with close ties to the past of these characters and this town that has led to so many murders. With the foundation laid, I'm excited to see where we go next. Remember that eerie villain we saw in the first issue? What's up with that guy? When do we get to hear his story?

What's clear about Nailbiter Returns is how well this creative team works together. This is a well-oiled machine of action, horror, and a bit of comedy mixed in. The comic moves at a great pace, never really letting you catch your breath. It's non-stop and I love it.


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Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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