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Nailbiter Returns 8 Main

"Nailbiter Returns #8" 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 December 30th, 2020


The details of the mysterious and deadly game that's being played in Buckaroo are revealed, not to mention the ties to the past for Shannon and Warren. The town that's spawned the most serial killers in the world has produced one more and with an interesting backstory. This one is not content with a few deaths here and there. Their eyes are set on bigger things.

Nailbiter Returns goes into action / thriller mode in the closing moments of this issue. This has blockbuster movie written all over it. I'm not sure how I feel about that just yet, but I'm definitely willing to see where this creative team takes us.

Writer Joshua Williamson packs a good amount of exposition into Nailbiter Returns #8, however it never feels dry. It's really intriguing stuff as we explore Warren's other love. Shannon wasn't the only woman to capture his heart. The character's description is pitch perfect too. “Crane was my pretty bird. But SPOILER was my bird of prey.” That line is so awesome.

Click images to enlarge

One key detail in this issue is that you don't see this person's face. Artist Mike Henderson frames every panel she appears in so as to hide it, either with her hair or by showing her from a different angle. I didn't notice this in previous issues and I'm going to have to go back to check them again. It makes me very interested in what she actually looks like, both in the past and the present.

Henderson delivers a few more horrific scenes of hallucinations in this chapter too. After seeing his stellar work on Nailbiter for so long, it makes me wonder what he can do with a more supernatural story.

My favorite scene comes when Warren falls for this other woman. It's a bloody and shocking sequence. The last few panels are in these erratic shapes, coinciding with the action and intensity. The blood is spewing and Warren is head over heels. It's such a great juxtaposition.

Click images to enlarge

The gore in Nailbiter Returns #8 is next level. Colorist Adam Guzowski splatters these pages with blood, often contrasting against a solid white background to create more impact. The only light in the final scene comes from a window outside. It looks like the sun is setting, not just for the day, but maybe for any hope that these characters will make it out alive.

What really makes the gore pop in Nailbiter Returns is letterer John J. Hill's work. No one does screams like him. They scrawl across the page so they have a resonance to them. You feel them. It's not a jump scare. These are screams of pure terror that come from deep down. Couple this with the amazing sound effects that have a similar quality and you've got a powerhouse of horror.

Nailbiter Returns hits with another great twist and keeps things as unpredictable as ever. This followup series has only amplified everything that's come before while telling a whole new story. It's all new ground with the same level of terror. This is how you do a sequel right.


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Overall: 3 Star Rating

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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