Review – Harrow County #32

Harrow County #32 - Dark Horse Comics

Written by Cullen Bunn

Art and Letters by Tyler Crook

It happens all the time in the world of entertainment.  Shows get canceled, movies don't get sequels or sometimes things just end too soon.  After only 32 issues, Harrow County has reached it's final issue.  I have marveled at how amazing this series has been from the very beginning of Emmy's story, so I thought it was only right to say goodbye and do a review of the final issue.  Let's all get a bit of closure together, shall we?

This issue really is the final showdown between Hester Beck and Emmy.  I will not spoil any of the details for you, but  I can tell you that the battle is just as much mental as it is physical.  You see salvos from both Emmy and Hester, each serving a very powerful and distinct purpose.  There is not a single wasted moment in this entire confrontation, and that is not something that can be said for very many stories.  We also get a bit of a look at what is happening with Bernice and the Abandoned, but it doesn't last long.  This issue rightly focuses on the main event, and honestly, I did not want it to end.  Of course I wanted a conclusion, and of course I wanted to see good triumph over evil.  What I mean is, I was so enthralled by the encounter that it left me wanting more.  There is one specific visual in this battle, which is a callback to very early on in the story, that was a complete wow moment for me.  If you've read the issue, you know exactly which moment I'm talking about.  Then to see that take a turn really set the final conclusion to another level.  We do get a nice conclusion, but the door is certainly left open for more stories and even possible spinoffs.

I am really going to miss this story and the characters in it.  Not only did this book always have an innocence about it, it also never failed to creep me out.  I will talk about Cullen Bunn in just a moment, but I just want to take a second to acknowledge how incredible Tyler Crook was on this series.  The way he masterfully balanced that dreary backdrop and the shattering innocence of young Emmy is nothing short of amazing.  The depth of emotion in each character could not have been more visible, and I applaud him for that.  Then we have Cullen, who I am admittedly a huge fan of.  I always used to say, "if it's creepy, it's Cullen Bunn."  He just tells these types of stories so well, but this one was different.  This story really felt like Cullen's master craft.  Imagine a sword maker setting out to do what he does best, and eventually creating Excalibur.  That is how I see Harrow County in the list of many creator owned and licensed properties that he is and has been a part of.  That is why I'm so sad to see this end after 32 issues.  At the same time, it would have been easy to draw this story out unnecessarily, but a true master craftsman doesn't do that.  I'm sure this won't really be the end, but I believe this initial story will always stand on.  This is one of those book I have used, and will continue to use, as a benchmark that I measure all other books against in it's genre.  Thank you to the creative team, editors and to Dark Horse for this amazing journey.  This final thought may be a bit of a SPOILER, so consider this your warning.  No disrespect to Emmy, but we won't be able to walk away and not look back.


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