In Review: Sleepy Hollow #3

The story was too familiar, but the art is good. Next month's conclusion could change my overall opinion.

The covers: A pair of covers to haunt your collection. The Main cover is by Phil Noto featuring full figure shots of Ichabod, Irving, and Jenny Mills before a gigantic clock that has chains around it. Abbie is in profile to the clock and her companions. This seems to be symbolic of something, but it won’t become evident until one reads this issue. I really liked this cover and it was the one I bought. The Variant cover by Robert Sammelin is a fairly generic cover that has nothing to do with this installment. Ichabod is standing in a dying forest; his legs and chest are blank, allowing a red image of the Headless Horseman to be shown walking toward (or is that out of?) Crane. Nice, but it could go on any issue in this series. Overall grades: Main A and Variant C+

The story: At the Freemasons’ Lodge in Sleepy Hollow, in the dead of night, moving men are there to take inventory of all the building’s contents to be sold at an estate sale, since all the Freemasons were found in a back room with their heads cut off. Overcoming their fears, they begin to chain up a grandfather clock for transportation when a scream interrupts their work. Their legs are grabbed, and their bodies are yanked backwards into a mysterious swirl of smoke. This is the first page of the story by Marguerite Bennett. The story then goes to a shopping center where Ichabod and the Mills sisters are going to see a film. The expected comments on Crane being a man out of time are made, with some good laughs, but before they can enter Abbie receives a call from Henry Parrish asking them to go to the Freemasons’ Lodge as there’s been a murder. She calls Captain Irving who meets them there, and the four are greeted by a nervous Parrish on the steps of the building. The device that causes them trouble has been shown on the cover, so, thankfully, not much time is wasted on what’s odd in the lodge. However, it causes the four to experience their own private hells that are very similar to what they encountered in a Sleepy Hollow novel written by Keith R.A. DeCandido that just came out a few months ago. What’s worse, there’s no ending to this tale. I was left very dissatisfied, having “been there, done that” so recently and the reason for their woes never revealed. Next month is the final issue in this mini-series, so I’m hoping all is explained then. Overall grade: C-

The art: The visuals by Jorge Coelho are good. I really like his style on this book, which initially appears as cartoony, but when the supernatural aspects begin things get pretty creepy. The opening scene of the movers getting attacked is a good example of this. Coelho is able to create emotions from his characters well, with the look between the sisters at the bottom of Page 4 showing this. I must also give him major kudos for the throw away image of the poster at the top of the same page–I can only hope it’s coming out soon, Mr. Coelho. I was very impressed with the likeness he had of Orlando Jones as Irving. Although John Noble’s Henry Parrish looks about 40 pounds heavier than he does on the show. Page 8 was an excellent way to show the characters going right into trouble. The reveal on 10 was ghoulish, with what happens to the individual in Ichabod’s arms particularly nightmarish. I was glad to see the character that appears to save him drawn in such a physical manner, because this doesn’t happen enough on the show. I’m looking to forward to seeing what new terrors Coelho will put the characters through next month. Overall grade: A

The colors: Excellent coloring by Tamra Bonvillain can be found throughout this book. The first panel sets up the creepy factor instantly with its cool blues and muted whites in the sky. Icky orange comes into play when the horror begins. I really like the blue for the lighting in panels two and three on Page 2. When flashlights are later used I found myself scanning the parts of the panels that weren’t illuminated–I was put on edge by Bonvillain’s colors. Page 9 is the exact opposite of where the characters came from and was beautiful. The coloring continued to be solid all the way to the end, with the final page’s oranges and yellows oddly enchanting, though they’re not in a pleasant place. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Jim Campbell contributes scene setting and dialogue (the same font), sounds, telephone dialogue, something’s damned dialogue, a song, and next issue’s “To Be Continued.” I wanted the scene setting and dialogue to be two different fonts, but that’s a minor nit on Campbell’s other contributions. Overall grade: A-

The final line: The story was too familiar, but the art is good. Next month’s conclusion could change my overall opinion. As it stands now, this is just a touch better than average due to the visuals. Overall grade: B+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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