"Harrow County #27" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Tyler Crook
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 8th, 2017
Emmy has fought against her destiny for some time now. The residents of Harrow County have slowly come around after realizing she wouldn't kill them all with crazy witch powers. All of that good will is going up in smoke as Emmy's evil sister, Kammi, who looks just like her, is wreaking all kinds of havoc in the area. Can Bernice stop this villain on her own? Will Emmy be able to put the pieces of her life back together?
Although they may look similar in terms of hair color, body type, and facial features, Emmy and Kammi are completely different. Kammi is basically the dark version of Emmy. If she had embraced the preconceived notions that everyone had about her, she would be Kammi. This is a frightening visage, brilliantly illustrated by artist Tyler Crook. Kammi looks like a mad dog with crazed evil in her eyes and a sinister grin on her face. Her clothes are tattered and she's covered in blood and dirt. She revels in the chaos she's spreading across the land, delighting in the pain she's causing.
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Meanwhile, Emmy is burying her father after a heartbreaking scene in the last issue. She has the power to bring him back, or a least a version of him, but that would be wrong. There's a strange dynamic to life and death in Harrow County. The witch Hester Beck created some of the people here, including Emmy's father. Were they ever really alive to begin with?
We see how fickle these “lives” can be when Kammi tries to undo them. Crook creates scenes of pure, unbridled terror and gore as bodies literally explode into heaps of blood, muscle, and what looks like clay. One second, there's a perfectly normal-looking human being. The next, they're unraveling right before your eyes.
The sound effects are what bring Crook's already stellar artwork to the next level. They're part of the action. The blood splatters up into the air in every direction, while also forming the sound such as a loud “GRRKKKSSSSHHK.” Just in case you were wondering, that's the sound a body makes when it's melting.
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What sets Harrow County head-and-shoulders above most comics right now is the character work. Writer Cullen Bunn has made each and every character feel real, especially Emmy and those close to her. This makes the life-and-death struggle they're in against the vile Kammi all the more compelling. These feelings even extend to the monsters as seen in a tragic scene with the skinless boy who has always been a stalwart companion to Emmy. I audibly gasped at this point in the book.
Few comics are as consistently well done as Harrow County. This is a riveting book that pulls you in hook, line, and sinker. It features an epic battle of good against evil that's fought not with capes and tights, but with powerful character-driven story and some of the best artwork in the industry. This should be required reading for all horror fans.