Reviews

Comic Review – Sleepy Hollow #4

  • Script – Marguerite Bennett and Noelle Stevenson
  • Art – Jorge Coelho and Noelle Stevenson
  • Colors – Tamra Bonvillain
  • Letters – Jim Campbell
  • Publisher – BOOM! Studios

 

After four solid months spent battling witches, ghouls and all manner of other supernatural phenomena, it’s time for us to bid adieu to Lt. Abbie Mills and her resurrected companion, Ichabod Crane. It’s been a fun ride, and a surprisingly accomplished one for a book that some may have decried as a mere TV cash-in. SleepyHollow4exampleimage1

After a series of complex issues full of twists and turns, writer Marguerite Bennett opts for a quick and action-packed sprint to the finish line for this final installment. Trapped inside The Labyrinth of the Clock, it’s up to the anachronistic Scooby Gang to escape the clutches of the evil Van Bilj. Fantastically depicted as a Tim Burton-esque clockwork monster, Van Bilj challenges Ichabod and company to escape his infernal clockwork machine. Van Bilj soon takes the form of the dreaded headless horseman, and the fight is on. Yes, the bulk of Sleepy Hollow #4 is dominated by good ol’ fisticuffs, as Lt. Mills and Mr Crane take on the worst of Van Bilj’s apparitions. This final issue is lighter on character moments than the last couple, and indeed the bulk of the script is taken up by Van Bilj’s dastardly monologuing, which makes this issue a much more serious read than the first few. It’s not a drastic change in tone, but a fitting one given the stakes at hand.

As usual, Jorge Coelho is on form here, pencilling the creepiest of creatures in grotesque detail. He once again flexes his muscles with a series of splash-pages, the best of which being a double page spread depicting our heroes battling their demons on the face of a giant clock. Colorist Tamra Bonvillain takes to the demonic tone like a fish to water, bathing the entire issue in menacingly satanic hues of orange and red. Special mention must go to Phil Noto for his freaky cover. I haven’t yet mentioned the covers to this mini-series, but Noto has delivered the goods for all four issues. His realistic, painted visages are excellent likenesses to the cast’s TV counterparts and the shadowy horned demon emblazoned across the cover of issue 4 will stick in the mind long after it has been read. SleepyHollow4exampleimage2

As usual, Noelle Stevenson closes out the issue with a chuckle-worthy 2 page strip. “At The Fair: Part Two” continues Abbie and Ichabod’s high-jinks as they hit the local Ren Faire. It comes as the cherry on the top of the optimistic final splash page that closes out the main story, an extra slice of added value and enjoyment.

Sleepy Hollow #4 is a fulfilling and straight-forward end to an excellent mini-series. Although this issue lacks the humor we’ve come to expect from the last 90 or so pages, it is a cathartic finale that will hopefully set up a future series. For fans of the show, this series has been an absolute must-have, but it’s important to note that if you’re just a reader who fancies a bit of the occult, Sleepy Hollow is a series well worth your money.


 

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About the author

Oscar Maltby

A full-time father and a long-time writer for the British Small Press comics scene, Oscar Maltby is turning his hand to comic book journalism. His scripts have been featured in numerous UK comic books, including the Eagle Award-nominated anthology Futurequake.

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