Oh, Emmy. I was so happy for her when she made a new friend in the Abandoned; it looked as though things might be on the upswing for her. I should have known better. As soon as she resurrected those hunters, and it was revealed Kammi was still alive, I knew things were going to go sour. What I didn’t know is that by Harrow County #21, she would be facing down her best friend.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I always suspected she would be forced to make a choice between the human denizens of Harrow County, and the haints she fights so hard to defend and help. In the beginning, there was a charm to Emmy not only realizing the haints weren’t all malicious, but showing other humans this as well. As she went from house to house, helping the haints, there was an optimism and innocence within both her, and the comic, that showed sometimes something scary looking might be friendly after all. But this is Harrow County.
It was only a matter of time before humans tired of the haints in their backyard. Oh, sure, Priscilla is easy to please, but she’s still a creature which needs to be appeased. It was only a matter of time before the citizens decided to take matters in their own hands, since Emmy clearly won’t help them.
After last issue, it seemed Emmy’s main antagonist would be Kammi, still alive, in a sense, and clearly out for her own malicious ends. Kammi is still out there, and I have no doubt we’re going to see her again. What I did not expect was for Bernice to be the one to face down Emmy, first.
I’ll admit, I actually thought that plot thread had been dropped. Bernice was asked by the old witch woman (voodoo priestess? I’m not sure what to call her other than “snake jar lady”) to take her place as guardian of Harrow County against Hester — and, by proxy, Emmy. But we hadn’t seen much about that since then. There is a moment, in Harrow County #21, when Emmy comes across an empty mason jar, and my heart caught in my throat. I hoped it wasn’t Bernice, but I knew better. Of course it was Bernice; it had to be.
And I have to say, Bernice isn’t wrong. Emmy expresses distaste over the death of a haint, and her familiar haints explain that this one was a particularly nasty beast who stole babies from their cribs. Emmy is undaunted; to her, a murder is a murder is a murder. There is an innocence in Emmy that is quickly turning into a blindness. She cannot see that despite the revelation that she is not Hester — and indeed, Kammi may well be — she is most definitely walking down the path that Hester must have trodden.
I’m hoping that Bernice and Emmy will put aside this difference, in the face of Kammi’s inevitable appearance, but there are so many scary variables lurking in the woods of Harrow County. Kammi is on the loose, not of all of the haints are as gentle as Priscilla, the Family is still biding their time to turn on both Emmy and Malachi, and there’s a hunter who I suspect is not Bernice, as well. Harrow County #21 may be the dark before the dawn, but I suspect it is merely the sunset on the salad days.
Author: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Tyler Cook
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publish date: 03/08/17
Acquired via Publisher