Last issue, a group of dumbass hunters (and one pretty nice kid) came to Harrow County to hunt The Abandoned. As you might imagine, it didn’t turn out well.
This week, Emmy tries to figure out the best way to play peacemaker before more blood is spilled.
Harrow County #20 (Dark Horse Comics)
- Tyler Crook: Making gore look so beautiful that you’ll feel bad about yourself for admiring it.
- Nice to see that The Abandoned is a dog person…er, whatever he/it is.
- DEMON FIGHT!
- That’s right, Emmy. Lay down the law.
- I’ve said it before, but I still don’t feel like Emmy’s dad is in a place to lecture her yet. Even though it was a (relatively) long time ago, trying to kill your own daughter tends to diminish your parent authority a bit.
- Oh snap.
- Oh no…maybe Emmy should be listening to her dad after all.
Now we’re cooking with gas.
Sometimes with a book like Harrow County, you get worried that the series will begin to rely on its aesthetics and/or atmosphere instead of moving the story forward. Thankfully, this issue shows that writer Cullen Bunn has no intent of keeping things in a comfortable stasis.
No matter what craziness or treachery we’ve seen so far, Emmy’s goodness has been a constant, both with regards to her heart and how she wields her power. The heart part is definitely still there, but Harrow County #18 sees her make a decision that is both shocking and unsettling. She’s doing it for the right reasons, but it definitely wasn’t the right thing to do.
In addition to the reinvigorated narrative, we also get a stark reminder from Bunn/Crook that the creatures inhabiting Harrow County are dangerous. That can be easy to forget when the main characters walk effortlessly among them, but one ill-fated, out of town hunting party—and Tyler Crook’s badass rendering of a rage-filled Malachi/The Abandoned—and we’re back to checking around every panel for something to leap out and devour us.
I’m still not sure what to think about the quasi-return of a major character—or if I even like it. It potentially makes the way her story progressed and concluded feel a bit cheapened. But if this issue proved anything, it’s that Bunn deserves our trust to make it work. He obviously still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve to make sure life in Harrow County continues to be fresh and horrifying.
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!