In Review: Sleepy Hollow: Origins #1

Stronger art would make this a better book, but it's still worth checking out.

The covers: A pair of choices for you to consider as you make your way to Westchester County. Joe Quinones is responsible for the Main cover featuring Ichabod looking at one of Abbie’s modern rifles, while she is looking at one of his dated pistols. If only the pair were looking behind them as the Headless Hunter is approaching on his stead, bearing his iconic axe and a bazooka. Good visual way to show the contrast of the heroes and show that the villain is adapting to both time periods quite well. The colors are also very strong. The WonderCon Exclusive cover is one to track down. It’s design is credited to Michelle Ankley, with the photo credits going to Brownie Harris and John Lopez. It shows the Headless Horseman headless (a detail that must be brought up after the events of Season Two) reading a copy of BOOM! Comics Sleepy Hollow #1. It’s a terrific cover and one that every fan should try to get their hands on. Overall grades: Main B+ and WonderCon Exclusive A+

The story: This is a very interesting comic by Mike Johnson. In a way, this can serve as a primer for those unfamiliar with the show and for those that have more than a passing knowledge of the series it can serve as a refresher of characters’ motivations. I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. The first five pages deal with Ichabod’s feelings about supporting the rebels. The next five deal with Jenny Mills in her “new” facilities, the following five deal with the origin of the Horseman, then five focus on young Henry Parrish’s early days, finally closing out with five on Abbie’s first day at her new job and how she got there. Most of these stories are familiar to me, but I enjoyed seeing them in this quick, concise format. It was neat to revisit these characters and I can see these tales giving new viewers an instant understanding of the main players. This was highly enjoyable. Overall grade: A

The art: Matias Bergara is a very loose illustrator. His composition is good. Every page has a slick layout of panels that allows the story to be read extremely quickly, but the devil is in the details. His faces suggest the characters that the actors portray, rather than being precise portraits of them. Case in point, see Pages 2, 5, 12, 14, 24, and 25. Those last two pages are very interpretive, with the male characgter on 24 looking like he’s melting. The line work on the character’s shirt on the final page is so undefined, an argument could be made that there’s an alien xenomorph in her chest. There are times when this style excels, most notiably on Jenny who is postively radiant, no small feat considering the situation she’s in. The thrid page of her story features a gorgeous pair of eyes set into trees. However, what she’s supposed to be frightened of is horrendously vague at the bottom of that same page. Much of Henry’s story is in the dark, so there was time to make some panels and pages much more detailed than they are. Case in point, I have a vague clue of what I’m looking at on the bottom of Page 17, but it’s a mess of an image. Some restraint was needed. That can be said of several panels. Overall grade: C

The colors: The emotions of this book are magnified by the work by Tamra Bonvillain. The first two pages are brightly colored to show the optimism of Ichabod’s voyage, but things quickly go dark and crimson when he encounters his first supernatural creature. The filtered colors of Jenny’s settings perfectly capture the location in which she is housed. Harsh colors make the Horseman’s story radiate evil, and bright light is used extrensively in Henry’s tale. The most normal colors, outside of Icahbod’s tale, can be found in Abbie’s installment, with the brown of police clothing dominating. An exceptionally strong job from Tamra. Overall grade: A

The letters: Narration, dialogue, yells, a key sign, a foreign language, and sounds are created by Jim Campbell. I liked that character narration was different from the dialogue, and his foreign language font is wondefully sinister. Overall grade: A

The final line: Stronger art would make this a better book, but it’s still worth checking out. I plan on purchasing every issue. 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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