As we delve deeper into the four-issue arc that BOOM! has so far allotted Sleepy Hollow (and I say that “so far” with all the fervor of a fangirl desperate for more of her favorite characters), it’s only sensible that we also go darker. After all, issue #3 drops on Christmas Eve, only a few days past the winter solstice and the longest night of the year. I’m going to go all poetic here and say that it reminds me of a line from one of my favorite Robert Frost poems: “the woods are lovely, dark and deep.” Along with the darkness they’ve conjured, Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Coelho are finding the perfect amount of depth to their storytelling.
What do I mean by that, aside from a poetic flight of fancy brought about by staying up too late to read comics? With each succeeding issue, we’ve gone a little deeper into the world of Sleepy Hollow. We started out with just Ichabod and Abbie, then Jenny and Irving got added into issue #2, and now Henry and Katrina (sort of) join the cast for issue #3, with hints of Henry’s true nature starting to out themselves. The first issue seemed like a standalone, the second built on it, and now we are deep in the crazy that accompanies time spent in other realms, where truth is hard to separate from fiction and plot twists abound. It’s a deeper, darker world that our Witnesses and their allies are now in, and it has drawn me in completely.
This isn’t to say that the issue is without its lighter moments. The beginning of the story, which sets up a great “Crane vs. Modernity” moment with the Mills sisters there to egg him on (Jenny in particular is awesome in this scene, and I really hope Lyndie Greenwood is reading these comics so she can see it). I love the Crane/Irving/Mills Sisters against the world vibe that’s coursing through this issue, and I give props to Noelle Stevenson’s short piece “Shopping” at the end to lighten the mood. But the story goes very dark about halfway through the main piece in a very compelling way that’s going to keep you guessing, and ends with a fantastic cliffhanger that I didn’t see coming at all. Bennett’s writing is spot-on, Coelho captures the denizens of Sleepy Hollow so perfectly that I really hope we get the chance to see him draw some of the more iconic villains, and Bonvillain’s colors somehow manage to make the whole thing the most vibrant horror story I’ve ever seen on paper or in film.
I’m really eager to see how issue #4 is going to resolve the arc, and I hope BOOM! is listening when I say that they have struck gold here and shouldn’t let it go so easily just because we’re heading toward the less spooky months of the year. Keep the issues coming, and I’ll keep buying them—there will always be room in my short box for Sleepy Hollow. 5 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
SLEEPY HOLLOW #3
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Jorge Coelho
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterers: Jim Campbell
“Shopping” Written & Illustrated: Noelle Stevenson
Cover Artists: Phil Noto, Robert Sammelin
Release Date: December 24, 2014