• Harrow County #30

    Harrow County #30
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: April 25th, 2018.
    Written by: Cullen Bunn
    Illustrated by: Tyler Crook
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    It’s the middle of the night on Summit Ridge, a drum beat echoing through the area setting the residents on edge. The townsfolk know that “she’s calling” and that they can’t just ignore this. So they head out of their homes in middle of the night and follow the serpents. The drums are heard across Harrow County, the people who live there know that ‘she’ is back.

    Bernice knows what is happening and she knows that she needs to find Emmy, even if they aren’t on the best of terms right now. She knows Emmy can’t do this alone and with what Bernice learned from Lovey, she figures she can help. When she tries to leave, she’s grabbed by Priscilla, one of the haints that lives in the woods ordered by Emmy to keep her friend safe. Priscilla is frightened but after what Kammi did and the people she killed, Bernice is determined to go and do what must be done.

    Meanwhile, Emmy is surprised to find that the cottonmouth’s no longer listen to her when she orders them back to wherever they came from, to tell Hester Beck that she’s done here, no longer welcome in Harrow County. Emmy decides to counter this by calling on the owls to come down and take the snakes, but what she calls down isn’t an owl… it’s something altogether sinister. Emmy is learning very quickly that she’s changed.

    The townsfolk come to Hester, a noose around her neck, her ragged clothes covered in blood. Many of these people are her own creations, though not all of them. Regardless, after what they did to her last time and how much work it took her to come back as she has, Hester intends to find a way to control them to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

    “This will only hurt for a moment….” she tells them.

    As the series draws to a close, Bunn seems to take us into increasingly darker territory with each subsequent installment. This issue is no exception. With Hester Back now back and up to her old ways, it’s clear that the people Emmy cares about, the people that she grew up with, are no longer safe and no longer able to be protected by her as she once was. The effects of how things ended with Kammi have clearly had an effect on our witch heroine, and it’s really completely unclear how this is all going to end. As such, there’s a lot of suspense in this issue, and some genuinely chilling set pieces to go along with it. This book has been great from the start, but at this point you can’t put it down. It’s a testament to Bunn’s abilities as a writer that we care about the characters as much as we do, and that we can get as involved in the story as we are.

    And of course, Tyler Crook’s artwork continues to shine. This issue in particular is rich with some twisted set pieces and these are illustrated with the same amount of detail and style that has been a trademark of the series since it began. From the opening double page spread wherein we see Hester dance before a huge green fire, surrounded by her demonic helpers, to the scene where she lays down upon the townsfolk some horrible retribution, the book is a genuine work of macabre beauty.