• Harrow County #26

    Harrow County #26
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: October 11th, 2017.
    Written by: Cullen Bunn
    Illustrated by: Tyler Crook
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    Emmy is in the woods, her Pa stuck on the other side of some branches and brush. None of the haints in the woods will listen to her, save for the skinless boy, and he’s unable to get to Pa. Not at first, at least. Emmy urges him on and he makes it through, though he’s bloodied up by the time he gets through. Regardless, he makes it to the farm, well aware of what he’s going to find once he gets there – a slaughtered cow, its distraught calf terrified beside its mother’s corpse. And Pa’s body. And while the skinless boy, essentially a feral creature, knew what he was getting into, he still feared for Emmy and for what would come of this when she found out.

    Emmy, meanwhile, is still stuck in the woods, Kammi teasing her from within the safety of the old tree she’s taken shelter in. Suddenly, as Emmy pounds away at the tree, the woods open up for her and let her pass. She runs to the farm and finds what we already know to be true – Pa’s been killed. In anger she scolds the skinless boy, he should have gotten here sooner, but she apologizes, she knows she just said it out of anger. That doesn’t stop the haint from running away, clearly upset about all of this.

    As Kammi sets about to her Emmy even more than she already has, Emmy decides she’s going to make this right. Elsewhere, Bernice tells Malachi she’s going to go after Kammi herself…

    Building off of the genuinely shocking events of the last issue, this current chapter in Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s increasingly bleak tale of backwoods southern horror ups the ante even more. Things are just getting started as far as Kammi is concerned and given that she’s certainly more powerful than Bernice and likely more powerful than Emmy herself, things don’t look good for the people who live in and around Harrow County. This issue is a bit quicker of a read than most Harrow County single issues, but it’s no less important. We know, once Emmy gets out of the woods and finds Pa’s body, that Kammi has crossed a line in a big way. Emmy can’t abide by this. Bunn’s story has essentially, at this point, set things up so that there’s no choice but for the two to go to war, and as it is with any war, clearly there will be casualties.

    Crook’s artwork is as amazing here as it’s been since the first issue. There’s some memorably macabre imagery in this chapter, however, be it Kammi flattening the fire haints with water, the simple image of Pa’s legs poking out from the shadows or the sight of the skinless boy, an unusually sympathetic and likeable character, fighting back tears after being scolded by Emmy, to whom he had been nothing but completely loyal. Fantastic use of color helps make this remarkably dark issues more than just a barrage of shadows – the finale in particular really benefits from the use green, red and yellow, all of which creates some really interesting contrast.

    All in all, another perfect issue of one of the best comics on the stands these days and possibly the best horror comic of the last five years.