In Review: Sleepy Hollow #2

Better than some episodes of the series. Very enjoyable.

The covers: Two different frontpieces to grace your collection. The first is by Phil Noto, whose amazing work has been gracing Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer for some time. His cover has a semi-transparent Katrina and a solid Abbie Mills at the bottom of the cover with a ghostly Ichabod Crane superimposed over a window. The coloring makes this image very supernatural, especially with Ichabod looking as he does. This was the cover I purchased. There is also a variant cover by Jorge Coelho. This is a very gothic cover with Ichabod swinging an axe to a decrepit tree, whose blood streams down the side of a hill. Very cool and very icky. Overall grades: Both A

The story: This self contained tale by Marguerite Bennett opens at Corbin’s cabin. It’s a snowy winter scene outside, while within it’s a cozy setting, as Ichabod waxes about the state of music and food to his partner Abbie Mills. Once she leaves for the evening, Ichabod has a tune running through his head. He spies a puzzle box on a shelf and picks it up. He twists and pries the box as best he can to open it, but is unsuccessful. Pieces of the box break off under the pressure he applies and a red liquid spurts out. “Blood?! No–Sap?” says the lead, and then passes out, hearing a German song. He’s transported to somewhere else, but the story soon shifts to the next morning at a pawn shop where Abbie sees something that makes her think of Crane. This is very much a slow burn of a story that takes several turns, and I loved it for doing so. The first big surprise is on Page 11. The appearance of a recurring character appears on 12 to dangle clues before a character much as was done during the show’s first season. Another character welcomingly appears on 13. There’s a terrific supernatural occurrence in the third panel on 15 that seemed right out of the show. The coda to the story shows these characters at their best: very little dialogue, but the emotion blaring wonderfully. There is also a short two paged story, “At the Fair”, written and drawn by Noelle Stevenson. It’s silly and I enjoyed it. Overall grade: A

The art: Terrific work by Jorge Coelho on this issue. His interpretation of Ichabod as a lanky, long faced hero is great. I enjoyed the many panels he put onto Page 4 to show how long Ichabod was spending in trying to open the puzzle box. The first instance of the supernatural occurs on Page 5 and it’s a super splash page made all the more sinister by the wonderful smoke. The second to last panel on 11 was creepy, and, again, smoke made things eerie. The transition between Pages 12 and 13 is very skillful, will the hint of an antagonist at the top of the latter well done. The climax is pretty spectacular stuff and the final two pages a great bookend. Noelle Stevenson’s art on her two pages are also really good, albeit in a completely different style, with the fifth and sixth panels of the final page being the funniest. Overall grade: A

The colors: This was a particular strong point of this book. I really liked Tamra Bonvillain’s work. The first page uses different shades of blue and white to create a winter wonderland, with red being used to highlight one character’s exclamation (which I always like!). The second page shows how strong Bonvillain’s work is with some exceptional lighting effects used on the interior of the cabin. I really like how Ichabod was very bright in the fourth panel, and “normal” in the fifth. There’s also some good lighting effects on the lights on Abbie’s car. When the supernatural elements kick in, the colors become very stark, such as on Page 5, which is a mishmash of different colors but eloquently create a feeling of dread. The climax of the issue is spectacularly colored, with the violence being brilliant in orange, yellow, and red. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue, sounds, a song, and some musical notes are created by Jim Campbell. I like that Campbell has some of his words italicized when characters speak or scream, making the emphasis all the more easier for readers to hear. Overall grade: A

The final line: Better than some episodes of the series. Very enjoyable. Overall grade: A

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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