What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Nailbiter: Returns #9! I gotta say, with each passing issue I find myself more impressed with the work from this creative team than I was before. As I have said numerous times so far, who really could have guessed that there was still a story to tell beyond the first book. Not this guy. Yet here we are with a new problem unleashed upon the world. Except that this time around the boldness has risen to new heights.
That cliffhanger the previous issue needed on? That was one hell of a way to leave us in need of seeing what comes next. It was truly clever how they decided to go about raising the stakes here. Before, the worst you had to fear was the butchers who already existed just being able to continue getting away with what they do. in the shadows Now they have shaken things up and aimed higher that someone would actually be bold enough to turn a whole city into raging serial killers. I mean could you imagine a whole town full of people doing the same things we have been seeing, but maybe even worse?
The best takeaway from all of this has been the fact that this is all also taking us full circle in the plot. It’s one thing to know how the butchers are created and how regular people are turned psycho. It’s another thing to know that there are rules to how this world works, and that it only takes one person to throw that all into chaos.
Though all of this could only be matched by the tension this creative team continued cutting through as Crane and company endured the villainous monologue of the big bad revealing her plans and motivations. There was a point where you could have easily seen who this was going to be, but it mattered more to see what kind of entrance she wanted to make. They nailed this and much more through the approach they took towards showing what it really looks like when someone takes that game as seriously as they did.
This month’s trip to the past was certainly insightful as well. Considering what we have seen so far, it only made sense that they would now take us back once more to see how a relationship between Warren and Penny actually came to be. It was as disturbing as you would have imagined too. What they didn’t fail to remind us of was what kind of person Warren was back then. Not too different from who he is now, but obviously a younger version of Warren is weaker towards temptation and more prone towards doing things that are just plain wrong.
Now the madness of this issue could only be matched by the amazing work produced by this art team. This issue of course is much tamer than the issue(s) before, but this did not change the presentation of this story visually. It was still a treat to get all the horrific visuals which never fail to immerse you in this world. I mean even just the reveal of how Penny now looks was worth the wait. I thought they did an excellent job of consistently covering her face with her bangs, to allow for those key moments where seeing the madness revealed in her eyes changed the entire atmosphere. And they did this too quite brilliantly. Between the strong white overlay and the piercing red glow of her eyes, that was that moment where in the horror movie you might say “!@#$”.
After the past few issues of Nailbiter, and Nailbiter: Returns #9 in particular, now more than ever it is true to say that this book is a must-read for horror fans.