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Harrower Issue 01 Main

Harrower #1 Comic Review

Written by Joel Harley

Published by BOOM! Studios


Written by Justin Jordan 
Illustrated by Brahm Revel
Lettered by Pat Brosseau
2023, 31 pages
Comic released on 8th February 2023


A new slasher villain is born in Justin Jordan and Brahm Revel's Harrower - the tale of a hooded, mask-wielding maniac on the loose in suburban New York. Dressed like a medieval executioner, 'The Harrower' is said to keep the small town of Barlowe pure, enforcing his ideas of 'purity' through shocking violence of the Hellraiser variety (lots of chains, nailing people to things). 

The Harrower is unlikely to be pleased, then, with the local youths, who dismiss his existence as an urban legend and plan to celebrate Halloween with a big old party. At the centre of it all – Jessica Brink, a local teen obsessed with the legend of The Harrower, and her classmate, scary hothead Carter Creed. Together, they and their fellow school chums will be thrown into a direct conflict with The Harrower as he unleashes his latest bloody rampage. 

Click images to enlarge.

The legacy of 90s' slasher classics Scream, Urban Legend and Cherry Falls lives on with Jordan and Revel's slick and sick slasher book. The pair waste little time in throwing their killer into the spotlight, kicking off with a startlingly to-the-point opening sequence involving a local cop and The Harrower. Jordan's dialogue is peppered with hints and clues as to what might be to come, with every interaction crammed full of lore and character work. This first issue may have a lot of setup to get through (with only three more instalments to go!) but it never feels like it's wasting time or padding out the story, giving its grotesque killer ample time to make an impact.

And, while Revel's character design makes The Harrower an instantly striking monster, the art is uniformly strong throughout, matching the tone and atmosphere of a teen slasher film. Action and horror sequences are nicely paced, not rushing the big moments, giving the characters time to breathe and sweat. The Harrower's two big set pieces are bathed in lurid blues and pinks; the school and town in washed-out Autumnal hues. Characters are memorably drawn, from the grizzled and withered adults to the young and fit teens. There's a timeless feel to all of this - modern but at the same time, inexorably anchored to 80s' and 90s' slasher cinema.

Click images to enlarge.

Harrower #1 emerges out of the gate strong, making a quick impact. Strong writing and illustration should keep readers coming back for more... and that's well before the gory action and startling cliffhanger all but ensures as much.


Story: Fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer - UK
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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