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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?

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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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