A couple of issues ago, Emmy, the hero of this horror series that has become greater than genre fiction in every way, made the mistake you didn’t want her to make: To become powerful enough to defeat her witch mother Hester, she consumed her sister, putting greater power over greater goodness. Now, as the final battle between Emmy and Hester draws closer, the darkness that now lies within Emmy is beginning to take root. If all that seems baffling to you, then you haven’t been following along. You don’t know the rich textures that Cullen Bunn has woven into this world, the history, and the mythology. Harrow County is a world with a beating heart at its center. A world that is only a handful of issues way from ending.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I don’t want to write a final review before the series is done, because Emmy has further to fall, or higher to climb, and only her decisions can decide her fate. That’s the great thing about this world that Bunn and Tyler Crook have created. They’ve given it space to grow. The characters live between the story beats; they thrive and make decisions, they are constantly tested by new and different hurdles put in there way, and every moment has led us to where we are now.
As Hester calls the folk of Harrow County to her side with hellish drumbeats (Their fates I leave for you to find out.), as Emmy uses her power to call animals to help and instead calls upon the most freaky, hellish owl demons I’ve ever laid eyes on (Thanks, Tyler Crook, for that ingrained image!), as streets of snakes move with a singular purpose, and as Bernice makes to fight Hester on her own, the threads of this story are tightening, taking a strangle hold on the reader.
With the knowledge that 18-year-old Emmy has gained, she now knows how to use her power in both helpful and harmful ways, but may not have the wisdom to know exactly when helping is actually harming, and that’s wherein the final conflict I think lies in the end. Crook finds subtle ways to show us the changes that are happening in Emmy, and a mere page away from each other Hester gives the most demonic of looks which is mirrored in a look Emmy unknowingly gives. It’s unnerving to see her innocence being stripped away, her goodness; her very soul is what’s at stake, as well as the souls of those in Harrow County. Those are some pretty high stakes!
Creative Team: Cullen Bunn (writer), Tyler Crook (art, letters), Daniel Chabon (editor), Brett Israel (assistant editor), Mike Richardson (publisher), Keith Wood (designer), Christianne Goudreau (digital art technician)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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