What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Nailbiter Returns #10! Also the final issue of Nailbiter Returns! Just when you think that the rabbit hole couldn’t go any deeper. Now a whole plan has been revealed to turn everyone in this town into crazy psychopaths, just like the Buckaroo Butchers. Could you think of anything more insane than that? This guy sure couldn’t. And it would be hard not to see any of this being possible without an antagonist introduced who makes you cringe from just her gimmick too.
From the start of this issue it was easy to fall back into the state of horror they left us in before. All beginning with a reminder of Penny going so far as to lick the eyeball of Warren. That said, it was interesting to see what direction the story would take this issue. As they have made it perfectly clear, Nailbiter Returns is racing towards a big conclusion with this very issue. Meaning that there is very little time for our heroes, and reluctant hero, to get trapped too long under the heels of Penny. And most of all, the last thing you would expect is for them to play catch-up longer than need be. So with this new issue I admired the sense of urgency which picked up with an better understanding of what is at stake if these guys don’t stop Penny from what she has set in motion. This is the part where you expect that there will be much more action. Especially with even how early in the issue they took the opportunity to draw that line in the sand for who is friend and who is foe.
That said, where this issue was leading was great for the fact that there was still much deeper that we needed to go in order to fully understand what is driving Penny’s actions. There was no better character to throw in her way to bring this to the surface than Crane too. There was action, which did not disappoint at all. Though what stood out was what she was only able to say because of all that jealously and frustration coming to a boil. Yet this didn’t take away from the moment where a certain someone would do what needed to be done to save the town.
What I enjoyed most about this final issue was the focus they also placed on the bond between Alice and Crane. Up to this point it was definitely understandable to see how protective Crane was willing to be of her daughter. She already risked the chance of losing Alice to this world once. So it only made sense that she was going to take any chance she could to make sure Alice wasn’t put in that kind of position again. Through this issue we were able to see how their dynamic could evolve when there is more trust between the two that they could each bring something to the table. So far this book has been worth it for the growth that we have been able to see from Alice alone. I can still remember when this was the character who always seemed like she was on the edge of doing the wrong thing.
If there was one thing which never left you in question, then it was the work from this art team. Brilliant work from start to finish as I don’t think there was ever a point where they were not just indulging in everything horrific they could bring to life within the pages of this book. Even for this final issue they pulled no punches when it came to the terrifying unraveling of Penny’s plans for Buckaroo. Personally I loved the unique touch they gave to Penny to show just how mad she was. Whether it was the piercing red eyes, or it was the red outlines, you could tell that she was a different beast from the rest of the monsters. And if you couldn’t, then all you needed to do was allow yourself the visual of what it looks like when someone really has a thing for taking other’s eyes. Aside from this the use of lighting was excellent, the lettering was consistently engaging and distinguishing, and as with most issues it made a big difference that there is a colorist on this book who knows how to set a scene through the right background colors.
In the end, I was left feeling satisfied with the note they left us on with the conclusion of Nailbiter Returns #10. We were honestly going to miss out on a lot if this book didn’t bring the story of these character full circle. And of course they couldn’t help also doing this while at the same time hitting us with a twist that makes you wonder if there might not be more of this story to tell.