Nailbiter Returns #1 Review: A Gripping Second Coming

Nailbiter Returns answers the questions left by the original run through a copycat killer that launches deeper dive into the mythology of the Buckaroo Butchers.

Nailbiter Returns, and it is chilling.

Horror fans are in for a treat this June, because writer Joshua Williamson and artist Mike Henderson are taking us back to the blood red world of Nailbiter. The original Nailbiter series ran for 30 issues and was filled with blood, guts, and as many edge of your seat twists and turns as could still be considered tasteful. 


Truthfully, the series was so mysterious and layered that the final issue came to a close without resolving nearly any of its dangling plot threads. This frustrated certain fans. But thankfully, the sequel series Nailbiter Returns promises to answer those questions through a copycat killer (or group of copycat killers) that leads to a deeper dive into the mythology of the Buckaroo Butchers. 

Nailbiter Returns To The Scene Of The Crime

nailbiter returns 1 scan

The first issue opens up rather disturbingly, with the involuntary chemical bath of a Jane Doe’s eyes, and never takes its foot off of the gas. This super-sized issue takes place a day after the final events of Nailbiter #30, and it is so blissful to see Alice’s harsh but optimistic new life and Agent Finch’s suprisingly bright self reinvention in Texas. It’s almost guaranteed that they both come out of this mess traumatized if they make it out alive at all, but it is refreshing to see these two characters back on the panel again, living decent lives before hell is surely unleashed yet again. 

The two are reunited after Alice’s mother and Lynch’s unnoficial former partner goes missing. Fans of the original series will recall that the Edward Charles Warren, the Nailbiter himself attacked Sharon Crane in the final panels of the series finale, but their collective fate was somewhat ambiguous. Warren had actually received several gunshot wounds that night, so the big question that readers will be asking after reading Nailbiter Returns #1 is “How the hell is Nailbiter in Finch’s custody, seemingly unharmed”? 

Could Nailbiter have a clone or a twin? What if the events of the original series conclusion were fabricated by Warren or Crane? Decreased aging and limited invulnerablility both played into the original series’ plot, so a science fiction answer to this mystery is well within the realm of possibility. The dual Nailbiter mystery is far from the only intriguing plot point setup in issue one; I can promise that readers will be left with several tantilizing questions about each major character, both new and old.

This indulgently gorey series is a personal favorite, and top shelf as far as horror comics go. Each chapter was as gripping and entertaining as a thriller afficianado could hope for, and if this sequel series can recreate that grotesque magic, than Williamson and Henderson will have pulled off a remarkable and unforgettable feat. 

Be sure to pick up the first issue of Nailbiter Returns, and let us know what you think in the comments below or on our social media!


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Corbin Shanklin

CJ Shanklin is a journalist. They have been writing & reporting in the entertainment industry for four years, but their best work is still ahead of them. Stay tuned for more stories for the fans, penned by a fan.