You know that old saying that the third time is the charm? Well, whoever said it was dead on. Issue # 3 of Harrow County is better than the first two installments, and that is saying a lot. Just when I thought that there is nothing that Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook could do better, they prove me wrong. This issue took the best parts of the first two and melded them into the magnum opus that is Issue #3.
This issue begins with Emmy and Bernice surrounded by ghosts who have awakened from their eternal repose. They get closer and closer until Emmy screams at them to stop. They obey her and she is bewildered by it. She screams at them again in frustration because she believes that they were trying to scare her. They shiver in fear and this frightens Emmy. Emmy and Bernice quickly make their way past the gravestones leaving these “haints” behind.
It is not until later that she realized that they were trying to warn her of what lay ahead. Emmy and Bernice come across a group of townsfolk who are scouring the forest trying to find her. The skin suit boy in her bag begins to speak again and Emmy discerns that his body is out there among them listening as it had before. The body of the boy is leading them away from her.
This unnerves Bernice and she begins to inquire if what the townsfolk say about Emmy being a witch is true. Just as Emmy begins a rebuttal, her Pa appears. He tracked her there and has confronted her. He begins to break down and looks torn as to what his next course of action may be. He rests his gun against a tree and appears to mean her no harm. Then he suddenly gains his composure and lunges toward her. He is emboldened in his intent to preserve the pact and end her existence.
He grabs her around the throat and is literally choking the life out of her. Bernice tries to pry him off of Emmy but Isaac knocks her down forcefully. Emmy struggles to break free but can not muster up enough strength to get clear of him. Just when it seems that all hope is lost, the skinless body of the boy leaps from the treetops and unto Isaac. The decorticated carcass begins to violently beat her old man to a pulp. She ponders, if only for a second, if she should let it kill her father. She decides against it and commands the creature to stop. It obeys and leaves back into the darkness from which it came.
Now having the upper hand and upon regaining her vigor she pleads for her Pa to tell her the truth. He reveals to her that she is the witch reborn to take her revenge against them for what they had done to her so long ago. As he spoke, Emmy couldn’t help but contemplate what had just transpired. She wanted him gone, gone for good, gone forever. The thought curdled her blood. She wasn’t a monster so how could she think that way. What if they were right about her? She couldn’t think about it anymore. She had to flee.
She asks Bernice to look after her father and drifts further into the woods. Alone and overwhelmed, she wept. She thought of the dark thoughts that filled her head and the way that made her feel. It made her feel sad and empty. Yet somehow they felt right and this terrified her. She didn’t want to be like the myriad of evil entitites that haunted Harrow County. She just wanted to be who she wanted to be. Emmy shouldn’t have concerned herself about such things however; because in the darkness dwelt a presence that would never welcome her as one of their own.
Once again I am left wanting more. Bunn’s storytelling and Crook’s watercolor art is intoxicating. The combination of their two styles creates a mixture that is pleasing to all the senses. The tease at the end of each story is enough to bring you back for more and when you do, they do not disappoint. I highly recommend this title to anyone who loves horror, suspense, marvelous storytelling, magnificent artwork, and/or a taste for the macabre. The next issue is due out on August 12th 2015.
This title is also being developed for a TV Show. You can find out more about that here.