Harrow County: Hedge Magic

January 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

hedgeHarrow County: Hedge Magic by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook

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I’ve been digging Harrow County quite a bit. The characters, the atmosphere, and the creepiness of the series has hit all of my interest levels, and I’ve enjoyed seeing how Bunn and Crook develop the series over each arc. Some of the arcs have been less interesting than the others, but the growth of the series overall has been fun to watch.

Hedge Magic returns to a thread the creators started a couple of arcs back, where Beatrice begins to learn her own magic, and feels a divide growing between her and Emmy. Here, they finally face each other with their magic, despite the fact that they’ve been friends for most of their lives. It creates a good character dynamic, and the conflict keeps the reader engaged.

The problem is how they choose to resolve that conflict. It’s a deus ex machina moment, which was disappointing. The arc had developed to the point where neither character could trust the other, and instead of having the characters work out their issues by themselves, the creators bring in a haint to talk them down. Much of the writing in Harrow County has been strong, but it falters here in Hedge Magic. Much of that, I think, is due to how short these arcs are. Four issues doesn’t seem like enough space to develop the conflict well enough to wrap them up convincingly.

The good news is that the creators still know how to create the creepy (Bunn knows how to write it, and Crook knows how to draw it), and that comes to the forefront with the keyhole ghost. Plus, that’s the encounter that begins the conflict between Emmy and Beatrice, so it’s not just a throwaway moment in the series.

Harrow County continues to impress, and like the blurb on the cover declares, this is a series that is “Highly recommended for people who like their horror more cerebral and creepy.” I couldn’t agree more.

Started: November 7, 2017
Finished: November 7, 2017

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