"Harrow County #28" 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 December 13th, 2017
Emmy stands face-to-face with her nemesis. Kammi is everything Emmy is not, reveling in the pain and terror she's spreading throughout the area. She's a danger to everyone around her and she's already proven deadly. How far will Emmy go to stop this threat? Will she embrace the darkness if it means saving her home?
There's a great duality at work in Harrow County #28. Emmy is looking into a dark mirror, seeing what her life could be like if she became what everyone thought she is destined to be. It's a pretty chilling visage too, as Kammy is literally covered in blood. Her clothes are in shambles. There's a look of madness in her eyes that's tinged with rage. This is the polar opposite of Emmy's collected appearance, with her hair neatly parted and clean, sensible clothes.
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You can see the struggle going on in Emmy's mind as she desperately searches for a way to win this fight without losing herself to the darkness. She's facing a foe that will do anything to defeat her and make her life miserable. Innocent bystanders don't matter to Kammi. Remember the end of Man of Steel where Superman is facing General Zod and has to break the guy's neck because he couldn't figure out what to do? This is a way better version of that struggle and it ends up with a conclusion that is a million times more interesting.
Tyler Crook is one of the best artists working today and every issue of Harrow County is further proof. Each panel is gorgeously illustrated and absolutely chilling. One of the major benefits of Crook's work is the lettering, particularly when it comes to sound effects. They're incorporated into the images themselves, giving them added emphasis. It makes you feel the action a lot more when it's done this way.
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There is a perfect balance between close, emotional moments and panels of outright terror. There is one panel towards the end of the issue that I can barely look at, as there's a small detail that grosses me out so much. It's something I didn't even notice the first time around, but now that I'm reading through it again, I can't seem to look away, even though I desperately want to. This little addition to the image ups the scare factor considerably.
Emmy is pushed past her breaking point during this battle with Kammi. She's faced with an unstoppable foe capable of committing heinous acts of pure evil. This forces her to rethink her methods, leading to a disturbing finale. It's jaw-dropping and terrifying.
Harrow County never disappoints. It's such a solid read and continues to be one of the best horror comics on the stands today. Emmy's journey is a wild ride with more than its fair share of shadows. I just hope this poor girl can make it out unscathed.