After things came to a head last issue, Harrow County returns with a very different narrative direction. Is it good?
Harrow County #5 (Dark Horse Comics)
Emmy’s world may have been turned upside down, but her new normal isn’t so bad. Sure, she might be lonely, but no one’s chasing her with torches and pitchforks anymore. In fact, the town seems downright happy to have her around…mostly.
While they all appreciate her ability to keep evil spirits from terrorizing them, some folks aren’t crazy about her ‘cooperative’ solutions. And then there’s the douchebags that want her to perform dark magic against the people they don’t like.
But most troubling of all are the answers Emmy still doesn’t have, like what life means for people who might not have been born of human flesh and blood. Are they even real people? Is Emmy someone in control of their lives?
Before those questions can be explored, a storm arrives in Harrow County, bringing with it a fancy new car and strangely familiar looking woman.
Is It Good?
The potential problem with this issue is that it’s a victim of the series’ own effectiveness.
Despite its slightly melancholy tone, Harrow County #5 feels jarringly happy and normal compared to the other installments (and that’s really saying something when one of ‘normal’ scenes involves Emmy talking to the skin of a dead child).
“Please don’t leave me…without any moisturizer…”
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s definitely not what I expect or want from the series…but gosh darn it if the book’s still not great.
I was just about to roll my eyes at story’s the Disney-esque tone when artist Tyler Crook unleashed stunningly gorgeous page of Emmy talking to one of the demons. One panel in particular was so beautiful that it might be the best thing I’ve ever seen him draw.
From there, Bunn cranked up the foreboding pressure just enough, giving us a tense conversation with the gigantic bull demon and an even more striking philosophical discussion between Emmy and her friend Bernice.
We also get a proper answer to last month’s head-scratcher of a cliffhanger, which promises to bring us right back into the evil, conflicted territory that made Harrow County such a fantastic series in the first place. This ‘happy’ interlude definitely wasn’t my favorite issue, but Bunn and Crook do a great job making it just as effective as the scary ones while tying the positive vibes to plenty of potential unrest. And now that you-know-who has arrived in town, things are probably about to get even darker than they were before.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!