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‘Harrow County #15:’ Advance Comic Book Review

For the last several months, Cullen Bunn has teased his story in a couple of different directions. First, it was Emmy helping a family in a house that was quite literally alive. Then, Bernice - Emmy’s neighbor and friend - took her first steps down the path of becoming a sort of mystical snake charmer. In the last couple of issues, Emmy has been introduced to the extended family of her mother. How all these threads will combine, I don’t know, but Bunn is building towards something that feels epic, especially if the last page of this issue holds true to the upcoming conflict. Or Bunn could pull the rug out from under us and go a completely different, yet amazing, direction. He’s good at that.

For those who haven’t been reading, Emmy’s mother was a witch who created the people of Harrow County out of mud, and also the dark creatures that inhabit the woods nearby called Haints. The people turned on her, hung her from and buried her under the same tree, and from that tree was birthed Emmy.

Issue #15 of Harrow County is a good place for people to jump in, as it takes a lot of its time answering some big questions. We know the what, but now we know the why and the complications that arise from the why. This is the mythology issue. This is where the magic started. This is why Emmy is who she is. This is where the big conflict begins!

One thing Bunn has been doing an excellent job at is not giving us a clear grasp on who the good guys and bad guys are. We’re constantly dancing this way and that from issue to issue, and, in this issue, sometimes from page to page. “Sooner or later, though, you’ll have to trust me…unless you decide not to,” Emmy is told. Emmy, it seems, is the jury on who is seen as good and bad, and we’re with her every step of the way. It makes for a thrilling journey.

I’ve talked about the themes of family surrounding Harrow County. Now, the question for Emmy is: Is the family you’re born into more important than the family you’ve created?

I have to constantly applaud Tyler Crook’s sumptuous artwork. His images tickle the imagination and give Bunn’s world depth and clarity of vision.

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