Harrow County (#19 – 20) – Cullen Bunn

4 out of 5

Tyler Crook is owning this title.

While this is a short, somewhat transitional arc, reintroducing the likely threat for the next or a future arc, it uses its time to not only move us from A to B, but also to evolve its characters at the same time.  This is the type of deeply engrained story-telling Bunn was able to build up to with Sixth Gun, suggesting that when he takes the patience to actually construct his stories (many of his books feel like quick-rush-it-out snapshot ideas), it can greatly pay off.  Harrow has wandered a bit in its early issues, but it’s also been apparent through and through that there’s a long game here.

A hunting party from another town comes to the Harrow woods in search of the monster, which maybe doesn’t go so well.  Emmy intervenes.

Bunn builds on the last issues’ revelations to inform a slight shift in Emmy’s actions, as well  as exploring her thoughts on what this might mean for her life, and her relationship with her father.  The arc’s events kick around in tandem with these thoughts, creating pretty slick story / art synergy.

Emmy’s problem-solving in issue 20 could’ve used some smoothing out, as it seems to be swallowed pretty quickly by those involved in a somewhat plot-holey fashion, but it’s not so egregious as to disrupt the read.  And, as implied, Tyler Crook’s haunting art and colors can carry you through any such moments.

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