This week, Harrow County continues to dive into the series mythology by way of a history lesson via one of Emmy’s strange new ‘family’ members (and some very cool flashbacks).
Is it good?
Harrow Country #15 (Dark Horse Comics)
- For such a scary looking group of people, this coven of witches is terribly ineffective.
- Glad to see Emmy taking up with the one member of the group who doesn’t look sketchy and/or evil.
- The more I learn about this coven, the more I don’t like them (in a good way).
- People need to learn that you never trust a woman who has supernatural powers AND long black hair covering most of her face.
- Hester: A big fan of sunken pirate ships and freshly slaughtered human flesh.
- You know things are bad when even the nice person in the coven starts sounding sinister.
And take a look at those perfect teeth. How the heck does a witch from a backwoods location find access to such a good dental plan?
Is It Good?
Bookended between a fantastic opening and a great cliffhanger ending is a lot of exposition. It’s interesting, but not enough to make the issue feel like more than an extended setup for what comes next.
Tyler Crook’s art gets a few moments to shine, particularly in the flashback sequences, but is otherwise relegated to dialogue scenes. They’re still gorgeous, but even an ancient pirate ship rising from the sea isn’t enough to make the issue feel exciting.
In Cullen Bunn’s defense, there is a lot of ground being covered. You can see the various plot threads being pulled taut, preparing for what promises to be an exciting next few issues. I also like the way he’s handling the mythology, giving Emmy a great deal of conflict beyond simply trying to use her powers for good. The part where Odessa points out the similarities between her and Hester are particularly illuminating and even a bit chilling.
But despite all this, Harrow County #15 doesn’t offer much at all in the way of scares or narrative momentum. Even the one-page ‘Tales from Harrow County’ vignette feels dull and flat.
It will all probably read much better as part of a trade. As a single issue, however, this one just made me want to flashforward to next month…which is really saying something considering that school will have started up again by then.