Something monstrous stalks Jessa and her friends, with only the light of their phones as meager torches against the darkness.
Between a dead signal and dead friends, an unexpected betrayal is the last thing Jessa and Jax need to survive a party house gone to hell!
After Jessa, Jax, Briony, and (eventually) Reed arrive at the party, things start to get weird. Briony is worried about Alex and tries to call using her cell and the house landline, but both are not working. While Briony and Jax discuss what they should do, Jessa and Reed are enjoying themselves at the party when the power to the house suddenly goes out. Seeing that the other houses in the woods still have their power on, the hosts decide to go down into the basement to look for the breaker. The guest’s kid about the Harrower would get him, but little did they know…
Justin Jordan’s writing in Harrower continues to bring you the classic slasher horror story that you expect in any media. The built-up suspense of the Harrower’s appearance was well done, the high emotions of the characters were felt, and the killing scene reflects what one would expect from a cinematic performance. There are also very subtle details that give the reader more depth in the story, such as Reed’s unusual excitement during the blackout and the interactions between the Harrower and Jessa. As far as horror writing goes, this story is one of the best horror comic book writing out there.
Something unusual about the story is that there are characters we do not know the names of. The high school student hosting the party was introduced in the first issue, yet neither her name appear in this issue nor the previous one. Although this character is not one of the main protagonists, she is still part of why the story happens, so not knowing her name is odd. There is also a panel where the girl tells a guy to check the breakers because he wants to be manly. This was a confusing statement because there was no indication before this panel that he said this (this character’s name was also not revealed).
The artwork and lettering by Revel & Brosseau were done very well. Although the pastel colors dominated the issue a little too much, they still captured the vibes and tones of the atmosphere. The colors gave it a sense of calm and serenity that reflects a nostalgic style of the 80s and fall weather; then, the colors transitioned into a red-dominant tone when the Harrower started its killing spree a great touch. The art also did a phenomenal job of making the grotesqueness of the killing scenes very creative and intense while using the art and colors to tone down how gruesome it is to make it more palpable on the page. The compositions of the characters in the issue nailed the intense and scary moments that happened in the story that should be used as a standard for horror comic books.
There were some instances where the speech bubbles needed a stroke or more clarity to denote who was speaking. There were times when the direction of the speech bubble (and the bubble itself) blended in with the page’s background, and it was hard to know who was saying that line. This can take the reader out of the moment and impact their experience. Aside from that, the lettering is superb, especially with the sound effects. This has been one of the more enjoyable pieces because it adds so much to the story, and you can hear those loud, scary noises in your mind as you are reading it.
The story continues to hit it out of the park, making the horror genre enjoyable to read which recreates cinematic elements on pages that is very difficult to create. Although there were a few bumps along the way in how the issue was created, this is a story that should become a standard for those who wish to create horror-genre comics.
Harrower #2: It’s A Killer Party!
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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