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Harrow County #18 Review

Comic Books

Harrow County #18 Review

Last month, we got to read the first half of The Abandoned’s origin story. It was good, but not nearly as awesome/terrifying as I’d hoped.

This week, we dive into the second half of the haunted creature’s tale. Is it good?

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

Harrow County #18 (Dark Horse Comics)

Harrow County #18 Review

Observations

  • Okay, I’m still a big Tyler Crook fan, but guest artist Carla Speed McNeil has been killing it, particularly on the gorgeous two-page spreads.
  • These witch parties don’t look like they’re very much fun.
  • That exit would have been even cooler if Malachi dropped a mic made of wood.
  • Emmy needs to be time-warped into this century to be a political reporter.
  • Looks like Malachi is a pretty big fan of HBO’s Westworld.
  • GROSS! (…and awesome).
  • Oh, snap.
  • OH SNAP!
  • OH SNAP TO ETERNITY!

Is It Good?

Wow.

I have been a little down on this title of late, but Cullen Bunn really came through this issue. Although things still get bogged down a bit by witch bickering, the revelations we get about some of Harrow County’s greatest secrets are incredible. And even though The Abandoned was clearly the story’s central focus, Bunn does a masterful job tying the hulking haint’s origin in with series’ overall mythology.

We’re also left with a humdinger of a cliffhanger that drastically changes our perception of Emmy and her legacy.

On the art side of things, how awesome is McNeil’s rendering of The Abandoned? I know that smoke/steam makes everything look cooler by default, but she really does use it well. I also love the way McNeil portrays Malachi’s flood of conflicting emotions throughout the issue. Her ability to show his conflict, anger, and pain was a key component of making Bunn’s script work as well as it did. McNeil also keeps the proud Harrow County tradition of “beautiful gore” alive with a viscerally disgusting (in a good way) splash page.

The one-page backup story by Tyler Crook (with art by Aud Koch) is intriguing/beautiful as usual, putting Harrow County #18 back in the title’s 2015 form. The book still has a way to go before I consider it one of my favorites again, but this was a great first step.

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