Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review - Sleepy Hollow: Origins #1

"Your bravery will ever honor the Crane family name!"

Sleepy Hollow is pretty much a success. The show doesn't apologize for being outlandish and even recognizes that it thrives on situations and characters whose union seems completely eccentric. It makes for pretty entertaining television though, so learning more about the characters will only add to that enjoyment. BOOM! Studios is doing just that in Sleepy Hollow: Origins #1. The issue is written by Mike Johnson, illustrated by Matias Bergara, colored by Tamra Bonvillain and lettered by Jim Campbell.

You’ve watched Ichabod and Abbie battle the forces of Moloch and the Hessians, now see how they first got started with five short stories revealing the official origins of your favorite Sleepy Hollow characters. Travel back to the first days of Abbie on the job, Jenny in an institution, and Ichabod turning his back on Queen and Country for justice. Find out how Henry was born the horseman of the apocalypse War and relive the Hessian’s life as Abraham.

While Sleepy Hollow the show just wrapped up its second season, it's managed to delve quite intently into the lives of the characters. There's still a place for a book like Sleepy Hollow: Origins #1, in which Johnson offers brief glimpses into the characters' pasts before they encountered one another. Johnson's approach is one that re-introduces the characters in ways that get them to the point where they need to be within the context of the show. If you've watched the show though, there really aren't any truth bombshells dropped regarding any of the characters; in fact, many of the origin stories really just capitalize on events the viewer has already seen references to. Johnson does a good job though of making those origins accessible to someone who hasn't seen the show, even if the fact that the book is a series of short stories creates a staccato feel to the issue.

Depicting the characters "before" is Bergara, who's largely drawing on familiar source material to do so. Everyone in the book is easily recognizable and Bergara manages to work in all the key characteristics of each character at some point to remind the reader of where they ultimately end up at the start of the show. There's a playful calmness to the illustrations that makes the book feel like a cartoon, as each character sports faces with sharp angles and blanket details. Bergara empties and fills the gutters depending on the character getting the focus and it does help the reader to keep up with all the sudden story shifts. Bonvillain's colors are rich and bold, further emphasizing the familiarity of the players involved.

Sleepy Hollow: Origins #1 will definitely appeal to fans of the show, but there's really not a lot of revelations contained within as it pertains to the characters. It is nice to actually see some of their backstories explored, even if it is only for a few pages at a time. Johnson weaves the stories together in a way that leads into the first season of the show and ensures that all the characters cross paths in a way that fits the show's continuity. Bergara's illustrations are crisp and attractive, presenting character appearances that readers will readily recognize and appreciate. Sleepy Hollow: Origins #1 is a very straightforward issue that achieves its intended purpose of going back in time with all the characters, even if the first issue doesn't spend too much time with them back then.

Sleepy Hollow: Origins #1 is in stores now with interiors below.


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