Nailbiter #1
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Nailbiter #1

Writer: Joshua Williamson Artist: Adam Guzowski, Mike Henderson Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: May 7, 2014 Cover Price: $2.99 Critic Reviews: 28 User Reviews: 18
8.6Critic Rating
8.8User Rating

JOSHUA WILLIAMSON (GHOSTED) & MIKE HENDERSON deliver a mystery that mixes Twin Peaks with the horror of Se7en!
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?"

"If Josh died I wish he'd leave Nailbiter to me in his will so I could say it was my idea." -Scott Snyder (SEVERED, Batman, American Vampire)

  • 10 - Stuart Conover May 11, 2014

    The first issue has a strong introduction that draws you in by giving more questions than answers. Why did the Agent lose his cool and beat someone until he is at the point of being fired? Why was he suicidal and are the two connected? What happened to the FBI profiler who caught The Nailbiter? How was The Nailbiter not convicted when in the first scene we saw him he was surrounded by corpses and gnawing on the fingers of one? Why has city of Buckaroo, Oregon given birth to sixteen of the worst serial killers in the world and what has tied them all together? There is a dark tale being woven here and the way it is being told, I really want to know more! Read Full Review

  • 10
    Bloody Disgusting - Zac Thompson Apr 24, 2014

    Nailbiter will get under your skin. Thats where its most comfortable. Itll fill you with a vague sense of dread as it drags you into the fascinating world of serial killers. Itll hold you tightly in its grip and compel you to think about the more unsettling parts of human existence. Its chilling, unique, and a total revelation for horror comics. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Word Of The Nerd - Samantha Cross May 7, 2014

    The strength of the setting and the tone makes it possible for Williamson to keep Warren's presence minimal. He only appears at the beginning and the end of the issue but he hangs over the story as we experience Buckaroo through Finch's eyes. It's a town already built around a single mystery, but in looking for Carroll there's already a sense that Finch is in over his head and finding his friend may not turn out to have a happy ending. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Horror DNA - James Ferguson May 7, 2014

    Nailbiter will pull you in and never let go.  It's so easy to get wrapped up in this story and want more right away.  I'm sure there are quite a few more secrets hidden within the town of Buckaroo and I can't wait to see what else Williamson plans to reveal with the coming issues.  Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Book Therapy - Cody Apr 23, 2014

    Nailbiter delivers a killer issue. Williamson and company have created a story that pulls you in from page one and guarantees you'll be sticking around to see what happens in Buckaroo, Oregon. The first two issues set up an incredibly intriguing story that separates itself from all other offerings in this particular genre. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Big Comic Page - Craig Neilson Apr 26, 2014

    Im calling it now Nailbiter is going to be an absolute runaway hit for Image. Its a series that truly gets under your skin. Or, more accurately, a series that gets under your skin, removes your skin, and then makes a rather fetching coat out of it. There are a lot of wonderfully messed-up characters here, and a truly gripping mystery at the heart of it all. Make sure you pick this one up when its released on the 7th of May. I guarantee you wont regret it. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Vine - Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero May 6, 2014

    Horror and thriller comics aren't easy to do. Because of the comics medium, they often fail to truly deliver the chills and suspense the creators are trying to convey. Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson show us they have a pretty damn good idea how to do it right. It's a joy to see a dark story make its point without relying on over-the-top or gratuitous scenes. With a big mystery and a killer (or killers) lurking about, you won't know if the main characters will survive for many issues. The tension created in this first issue sets the tone for the series and you won't be able to resist coming back for more. Just be prepared for a cliffhanger that will keep you waiting in anticipation until the next issue. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Unleash The Fanboy - John McCubbin Apr 19, 2014

    Nailbiter is a must have series for Image fans as it's mysterious and gritty story will have you one the edge of your seats. Highly recommended. Read Full Review

  • 9.3
    IGN - Jeff Lake May 8, 2014

    Nailbiter #1 is a riveting debut that gets better with each read. Williamson and Henderson are in strong form, setting a mood and tone that sticks with you long after the final page is turned. Though the titular Nailbiter is more of a secondary character here, his presence nevertheless impacts the book and it's proceedings. This is one not to be missed. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comicosity - John Ernenputsch May 11, 2014

    Readers who are fans of the serial killer genre in general, or fans of shows likeHanniballooking to scratch that itch in comic form are going to love Nailbiter. The first issue is an intriguing debut that primarily serves as a setup for what's to come, but does so in a way that is mostly successful. This being a first issue with a lot of pieces to out in place causes some parts to be buried with exposition, but Williamson and Henderson establish such a strong sense of atmosphere, resonating from the central mystery, that these flaws can be overlooked. The sheer amount of possibilities as to what comes next as Finch uncovers the secret of Buckaroo, and the fate of Carroll is extremely exciting, and that excitement is a sign of a successful first issue. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Newsarama - Michael Moccio May 7, 2014

    These small things add up to create a synergy that simply makes this comic stand out. Combining elements of horror, mystery, and suspense, Nailbiter is a story for anyone looking to get down and dirty with something eerie, creepy, sinister, or all of the above. If you can't get behind these characters, become invested in the plot, or wonder what's going to happen next as Finch and Edward "the Nailbiter" Warren come face to face, Nailbiter will " at the very least " make you think twice before you nibble on those cuticles. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Fortress of Solitude - Byron Hendricks May 12, 2014

    This series looks promising. Even though it will be tackling a rather harsh topic, there is nothing better than a good game of cat and mouse. So far the writing has been good and it is engaging, leaving you waiting and wanting more. This is a great horror title that proves that man himself can be the greatest monster of all! Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Newsarama - David Pepose Apr 15, 2014

    With books like Hack/Slash or Revival or Echoes, it's forgiveable to think that all serial killers look alike. But it's the killers that distort and defile a normal action - whether it's biting your nails or jumping onto the nearest trend - that really stand apart. There's a lot of places that this trip to Buckaroo could take us, and while some purists may say it doesn't cut deep enough, I'd say that Nailbiter has just enough for readers to chew on. Prepare your cuticles for this masterful bit of horror. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comics Bulletin - Bree Ogden May 13, 2014

    On the surface it seems simple enough: weird small town, lots of serial killers, let's figure it out, bam, boom, done. But Williamson is so detailed in his fascination with serial killers, it's clear that Nailbiter is not going to be simple at all. For Williamson, exploring serial killers isn't about exploring the wreckage of evil but the nature of evil itself. It's about what makes a serial killer... not about what a serial killer makes. The concept is so detailed that you find yourself staring deep into each panel for moments just to make sure you haven't missed anything. Williamson and Henderson have indeed created something dark, psychological and stunning. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Backwards Compatible - Paul Fiander May 6, 2014

    Nailbiter feels like it will be a slow burn but do not let this deter you from what appears to be the start of a story that will have you fighting tooth and nail for the next issue. The art is top drawer and I will happily throw my neck out and say this is looking like another winner from Image. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comics: The Gathering - fdwhite May 6, 2014

    Overall, Nailbiter #1 is a wonderful start to a fresh new series, I'm eagerly looking forward to the reveal of the rest of the Buckaroo Butchers, and the intriguing mystery that's begun. Read Full Review

  • 8.9
    Multiversity Comics - James Johnston May 8, 2014

    Williamson and Henderson have crafted a disturbing world with depth through “Nailbiter” #1. Half-horror story, half-crime story, and all-cultural satire it might just inform the direction of where true crime stories go in comics, if not in all media. It's often been said that mysterious characters become less interesting when you begin to explain them, but by placing the spotlight on the killers' hometown of Buckaroo rather than the actual Buckaroo Butchers themselves, Williamson and Henderson have founded a rich playing space for what has the potential to be one of the most visceral and cerebral serial killer stories comics has seen. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Shadowhawk's Shade - Abhinav Jain May 14, 2014

    Nothing else to say really, except that I'm waiting to see how this comic continues on and that this is definitely going on the pull list. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Rhymes With Geek - Kyle Overkill May 6, 2014

    Nailbiter will be that book you have to read first each month because you are dying to know what happens next. Issue one sets up a story and mystery that will be hard for any fan to ignore. The hook is there from the opening pages. You can't help but feel like you are in good hands, even if those hands are chewed down to the bone. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    All-Comic - Jeremy Matcho May 6, 2014

    Nailbiter is an interesting story that is wonderfully written by Joshua Williamson. This seems to be a pretty original premise and Williamson thrives with odd stories while Mike Henderson supplies an artistic style that compliments the writing and adds to the layer of the book. Nailbiter is off to a good start and Williamson and Henderson's efforts are the reason. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Spectrum - Shawn Hoklas May 11, 2014

    I was very impressed with both Joshua Williamson's story and Mike Henderson's art. I'm a big fan of Henderson's character work. I feel as though his art comes as close to looking animated as it can, without looking cartoony. It allows his characters to have a lot of life within their facial features and body language which ultimately gives them movement. You can see this in the story's opening page and throughout this issue. That said, Henderson doesn't always “sell” the locations with his art. In a story like this, I think the settings can add so much and the generally plain backgrounds didn't give the town of Buckaroo a unique feel for me, which is unfortunate. This is minor and shouldn't be taken as a criticism that should keep you away from the book as the overall look and feel of the story worked for me just fine. There's so much to like though within this debut and I hope we'll continue to see some fascinating and disturbing characters introduced. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    Front Towards Gamer - Lido May 5, 2014

    The Nailbiter is initially quite horrific but it's a bit unsustainable and eventually slides into being sort of awesome horror as Warren's personality isn't all that alienating, while the Bookburner character just seemed confused ascribed multiple forms of murder and designs. This tells you a lot about the book's central problem; a lack of secure creative & design footing. I still recommend this issue as there's a lot to really enjoy and engage on the level of a very good paperback trash mystery, I just hope that issue 2 gives us a more grounded horror focus to inform the series. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    Coming Up Comics - David Melton May 5, 2014

    Any story about a serial killer is interesting to me. Like Raleigh Woods, the owner of the serial killer shop, says, "There are a lot of sick freaks who would pay to be close to evil." As of right now, I'll keep paying to see how this story unfolds. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    AIPT - Gregory Paul Silber May 7, 2014

    Though it's a long way from greatness, Nailbiter #1 proves that, at the very least, its creators know how to do horror. I'd call that an accomplishment. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    ComicBuzz - Ellen Jun 5, 2014

    Though it has its problems, Nailbiter promises to be one of the most hotly discussed series released this year. Its a tense thriller with enough horror elements to keep the reader at the edge of your seats and nervous about flicking over to the next page to see what gruesome image awaits you. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Capeless Crusader - Jesse Quick-Rincon May 6, 2014

    All in all I really liked this comic. I can't say it was the most strange or out there comic and for the most part it played the first issue pretty safe. However the team really knows what they are doing as far as building up an interesting concept for a mystery story and I'm curious to see what comes next. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Florida Geek Scene - Peter Schmeiser May 21, 2014

    Visually, Nailbiter does its job of intriguing the reader, but the writing is painting by numbers. Hopefully issue two serves up some unique story elements, or this book will languish as a rerun. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Comic Book Resources - Kelly Thompson May 8, 2014

    In the end, though the book has its visual strengths, the poor acting gives it a decided lack of depth, and some of the weaker storytelling choices are jarring. A series exploring the town of Buckaroo and how it has become a birthplace of serial killers -- the why, the how, and the very nature and nurture of that phenomenon -- would be quite interesting. It's possible that Williamson intends to focus on the town more than one killer, but what's presented in "Nailbiter" #1 is not particularly convincing or innovative. Read Full Review

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