Every secret comes to light as Jessa is confronted with the horrible truth of the figures behind everything! As she faces the Harrower in a final showdown, her fate seems inevitable. Can she escape becoming what she fears most?
In the series finale of Harrower, the fate of Jessa, the Harrower, and the city of Barlowe is sealed. The events in this story unfold in a classic horror style that leaves a shocking ending, but the issue still leaves many questions unanswered and missed opportunities for character development.
Writer Justin Jordan (Spread, Green Lantern: New Guardians) does a phenomenal job of writing a finale that amps up the shocking, twisted mentality of the town that created the Harrower and their reasons for keeping the tradition alive. Although it leans into the religious trope that is commonly used in stories that utilize disturbing spiritual practices, the way that he wrote the emotions of the parents reacting to how their kids were killed by the Harrower to be kept pure and innocent was by far the most impactful piece of the issue. Some parents were joyful; others were sobbing with sadness; others were pissed. But they all accepted the fate without question. The artwork in this scene by Brahm Revel (Marvel Knights X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) elevated it to a level where the psychological aspects of the townspeople accepting this bizarre and violent experiences as a necessity for their religious cult make it even more frightening.
Though the horror aspects of the issue were done well, some story elements were left unresolved or underdeveloped, that almost feels like a fifth issue should have been made for this series. Looking back at issue #1, it is still unclear what Carter’s father did that made the Harrower kill him. In this current issue, it is unclear why Carter calls Jessa “his girl” when the story never really developed a relationship between the two that made sense for him to say that. It’s also unclear how the Harrower has become weak, leading him to commit his killing spree. Jessa and Graham’s reunion was very short, which didn’t allow much emotional impact for it to develop (although the memories in issues 3 and 4 do lend support to it). These examples show that having a 5 issue arc would have solidified the story a bit more without leaving it on a tiny firecracker of an ending instead of an explosive finale.
The series as a whole is excellent overall. It’s an ideal horror comic that can intrigue even those who are not a fan of the genre, but the story, artwork, colors, and lettering make it wonderfully engaging for the reader. Combining those elements complements each other so well that it’s no wonder why the story was told so well. One of the underappreciated aspects of this series is the lettering by Pat Brosseau (Wonder Woman, Wolverine). The artwork he did for the lettering made the scene come to life by having the lettering of the sound effect reflect not only the kind of sound it was making but the intensity and volume of it jump out as well.
Although the final issue was a bit disappointing with wrapping up loose ends and leaving out critical information, it still holds up as a decent issue to a story that is terrific overall.
Harrower #4: Not So Pure And Innocent
- Writing - 6.5/106.5/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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