Suicide By Choo-Choo?
I have found myself in quite a love hate relationship when it comes to the mini series that are released underneath Zenescope's Grimm Fairy Tales franchise. Upon the release of Jungle Book earlier this year, and following it's relative success I was very excited to hear that Grimm Fairy Tales was releasing a version of one of my all time favorite Halloween Tales: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The last issue did a great job of pulling the readers into the life of Craig Marsters: a intelligent young man with high morals, a bright future, and a beautiful girlfriend. The issue engaged us with a brilliant set up, some unanswered questions to help pull us in further, and a dire moment at the end to incite pity and fear into the readers of the issue. So does Sleepy Hollow #2 live up to its previous issue?
Unfortunately this issue does not have as much strength as it's previous one, and serves more as the set up issue for the next two issues, and serves more so as a plot device to shoehorn Grimm Fairy Tales leading lady, Sela Mathers, in as a mythology and folklore instructor. Not a whole lot of action happens in this issue other than a distracting backstory in the guise of a mythology lesson that the series really could have done without. The story in this issue does nothing to escalate the plot whatsoever, and when we are given the reason for why the police ruled out murder in the case of Craig Marsters it feels forced and kind of insulting to the readers in how poorly it is handled. It's almost as if this one element is forced for the sack of forcing the story into a direction rather than letting it flow. Judging from the last panel one does realize that the story is taking the supernatural route, which is fine, but that element could have just as well have been done along side a police investigation into the matter.
Though the content of the issue is not engaging it is not necessarily bad, because like I said this issue is mostly a set up issue for the rest of the story. If there was something I definitely did not like about the issue it would be it's art. It's almost as bad as it is distracting. It appears rushed and sloppily drawn, and the colors do not blend well at all. In one particular panel one of the male antagonists was penciled and colored in such a way that it caused him to appear feminine in design. The art almost appears as if someone at Zenescope took rough sketches and threw just enough color on them to cram into a book to make the shelves on Wednesday. I do not know if that was the case, but even if it wasn't the art appears sloppy and lazily done. I suppose one would not read this story for it's art though.
Overall, this issue has made me a little cautious of the direction of this series. I still want to know the fate of a few characters such as the girlfriend and the roommate, and I hope this does not turn into the comic adaption of a bad slasher film. One can only hope this series redeems itself in the next issue, and does not turn out to be another version of The Piper. I would not recommend that if you are new to the series to read this and the previous issue, but instead wait to see how the next two issues turn out before passing a verdict. If you're already reading this and are still in the most minute way interested let us hope that this issue is not a sign of what is to come in the remaining two issues.