Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 reminds us that there are right ways and wrongs ways to do a Damsel in Distress story. I believe this is one of those stories done right.
Cullen Bunn (Harrow County) is the writer for Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3, as he was for the previous 2 issues. Emily Schnall remains the artist, with Tyler Crook as the letterer. Emily Schnall is also the main cover artist, with Tyler Crook doing a variant cover. Oh, and lastly, Dark Horse Comics remains the publisher of this comic book series.
Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 will go on sale on September 22, 2021. You can purchase print copies at your local comic book shop for that sweet paper feel. If you’re fine with the digital version though, you can download it directly from Dark Horse Comics. You can download the one with the variant cover also at Dark Horse Comics.
Warning: spoilers for Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 below. If you want to read this tale of unseelie fae going bump in the night for yourself, stop here, and come back once the fae have returned you to the mortal realm. Hopefully.
Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 ~ Plot Summary
Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 picks up where we last left off, although it takes a while to get to our heroes. Instead, the story starts with the Emmy effigy crawling out of the earth along with a horde of unseelie fae. In the midst of all this, Harrow County itself is in a mass panic after all their memories of Emmy return to them after Bernice removed her memory erasure spell. People started praying to God for answers, and the Emmy effigy hears those prayers, and heads to those people. Unfortunately, the effigy isn’t a particularly good likeness of Emmy, and people see through it faster than a mouse sees through a piece of plastic cheese. They reject it and drive it away.
Meanwhile, Bernice and co. find themselves about to die at the hands, er, barbed limbs of an insectile evil fae. Fortunately, a group of friendly fae kill it and save them. As it turns out, they’re part of the fae Resistance, and they want to help, but not without a price. Apparently, the evil fae has kidnapped their queen, and are holding her hostage to keep them behaved. Thus, Bernice and co. have to go on a quest to find her. The good fae try to help them with directions, but as it turns out, the queen is in another cave. The initial directions does net Bernice a nice magical sword though, so it’s not a total waste.
Meanwhile, back on the surface, the Emmy effigy came back “home” to Emmy’s house. Only, it knows on some unconscious level that it’s not really its home. In fact, it’s aware that it’s not Emmy on some level too. That cognitive dissonance combined with the town’s rejection of it for not being Emmy seems to be doing something…bad to it. It’s growing mold and rotting. As it turns out, this is what the evil fae wanted all along. This is apparently part of a plot to turn the Emmy effigy into a weapon of some kind. How? Well, that’s what we’ll find out in Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #4.
Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 ~ The Good
I feel like Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 is really where the story is finding its footing. Not that the previous issues were bad. It’s just that now it’s where the story is starting to get really good. I think a big part of that is because the previous issue just depicted Bernice and co. as prisoners of the evil fae. As prisoners of competent prison guards, the main characters had no power and no agency in the story until the evil fae released them to execute their own plans. Now that Bernice and co. are genuinely free though, now they can affect the story themselves, which makes it much more interesting.
Another great thing in Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 is how the characters are developing as the story progresses. In particular, I’d like to point out Georgia: Bernice’s girlfriend. She starts off as basically just a satellite love interest of Bernice, with nothing else besides that. At least, that’s what she felt like, given how meek and subdued she was for most of the story. The most she did was accompany Bernice into the dark of the underground, and that was it. Now though, she actually does things. Plot-critical things. She’s the one who insists on accepting the good fae’s bargain to find their queen, seeing correctly that even if they return to the surface now, they’d have nothing to fight the evil fae with. I feel like this is her making big steps in character development, and I like it.
Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 ~ The Bad
I would say the only bad thing about Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 has nothing to do with the comic book at all. My only complaint is that Dark Horse Comics has no preview pages for me to show you guys, which is firmly outside the power of this comic book to do anything about. They usually show these preview pages on the day of release, which as of this writing, is not today. Just be satisfied with the cover art and variant cover art for now.
Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk #3 is where this fantasy horror comic book’s story, and the main characters, has found its stride. At least, compared to the 2 previous issues. Ironically enough, by using one of the oldest and most cliché tropes in fiction. How will our heroines free the trapped fae queen? Well, tune in later on October 20, 2021; when Dark Horse Comics will release the next issue, to find out what happens next.
Source: Dark Horse Comics