- Creators: Alexander Banchitta & Robert Ahmad
- Writer: Alexander Banchitta
- Illustrator: Robert Ahmad
- Letterer: Fred C Stresing
- Headless Logo: Gabe Pinto
- Scout Production: Kurt Knippel
Summary & Review:
Our issue begins with the confirmation that Headless Horseman has returned, as Officer Sanders visits her father out in the woods. During this interaction we, the readers, learn that Sander’s father attempts to stop the Templar from using their ultimate weapon, the Devil’s Lantern, and defeat the Horseman without the sacrifice of souls. In addition, it is revealed that Sander’s father is an exiled member of the Knights Templar, as he seeks to use Black Magic to defeat the Horseman. From what I gather, the black magic that Sander’s father intends to use will cancel out both, the Devil’s Lantern and Horseman, or use the powers to destroy one another. I do find it interesting though, that Sander’s Black Magic is possibly the best ulterior weapon, since the Devil’s Lantern is fuel by the souls of children. Furthermore, as the family plans to stop the Horseman, they are already aware that Chris Winter is the host for Giles Corey, the Headless Horseman.
We then transition to Chris’ screaming head being held high by his ‘guardian demon!’ Chris’ screaming and the demon cheering for the return of his master actually wakes up Rick, who frantically rushes to check up on him. As Rick barges into Chris room, the demon throws Chris’ head at him and it bounces to the ground. Chris calls out to Rick pleading for help, as he shouts “It’s getting so hot! I feel like I’m on fire!” However, before Chris can do anything the demon punts him through a wall and out of the house, as Chris’ head becomes the portal for the Headless Horseman. The Horseman immediately takes center stage, as he questions: how long has he been gone, where is the Devil’s Lantern, and who is his host! Thankfully, his partner demon brings him up to speed, as well as begins to resupply him with “the souls of the innocent, the children of the lamb of god.” Also, it is revealed that the demon is his steed, a demonic Pegasus, as the they proceed to hunt Chris’ friends.
Now, what I love about this scene is that Alex and Robert’s team are working quick to establish the lore of this world. I like how they quickly point out that the Horseman has long rivalry with Templar, with their recent encounter being 16 years ago; it helps to establish Sander’s father and his excommunication from being a Templar. Also, I love how the staff is building towards the confrontation of who will get possession of the Devil’s Lantern. It is safe to assume that battle for the Lantern will occur within the next issue or two. In addition, I love the visuals for the Horseman’s return like the demon summoning sunglasses, and the use of their color pallet. Furthermore, having the Horseman’s dialogue bubbles being an inverted bubble, where it is a white font in a black bubble, makes him feel more menacing. The inverted bubbles do not just make the character more imposing, but also allows him to standout among the other characters.
Returning to our issue, as the Horseman takes his leave, readers are to assume that Rick has been killed by the demon. However, as Officer Sanders arrives to the scene, Rick somehow has survived being kick through a second floor wall and to the ground. At first, Rick is merely unconscious as Sanders arrives and throws him into her car, but a mystical prayer to God wakes his ass up! The way Ahmad illustrates the scene makes a reader feel the illuminating abilities from Sanders’ prayer/ spell. The magenta and white help to bring forth a sense a brightness, and hope that the issue requires. Also, readers finally learn Sanders’ first name is Sarah, as Rick believes everything to have been a dream. Yet, Sarah forces Rick to believe what he remembers was not a dream, but a living nightmare. Once Sarah has Ricks full attention, she begins to debrief him on the origin of the Headless Horseman…
The issue flashes back to amid the Salem Witch Trials, to the trail of Giles Corey! Here Sanders’ ancestor, Thomas Fiske, ousted Corey’s coven of witches, and had them executed even without a true confession. However, Corey was indeed a witch, who served the Devil and his soul was sent to Hell. The Devil though, sought to give Giles Corey a second chance and struck a deal with him, reviving him as a fiend and providing him the Devil’s Lantern; a tool to harvest souls and allow the Devil to be reborn on Earth. Corey followed his master’s orders and attacked Salem once more, eventually obtaining the name, the Headless Horseman due to his beheading. Yet, the people of Salem formed a private militia which became the modern Knights Templar. Eventually, they beat the Horseman and obtained the Devil’s Lantern, discovering it could not be destroy. In addition, the people of Salem would discover the Horseman was cursed to revive with each following generation.
We then fast forward to the modern era, where Sarah explains how the Knights Templar infiltrated the local law enforcement. In addition, Sarah explains how they have inadvertently assisted in the Devil’s work by using the Lantern in an attempt to seal away the Horseman; in doing so, the Templar have killed kids trying to avoid the Horseman’s resurrection. However, if the Horseman is obtain the Devil’s Lantern, he will surely have enough souls to bring forth the Devil. Yet, Sarah and her father believe that Rick is the key to helping them stop Giles Corey, and save his brother as well as other innocent souls. With no other options, Rick realizes he must join the Sanders’ crusade to save the town of Salem, and the Earth! But, as they begin track the Horseman they are unaware that he is already ahead of them, as he currently attacks the mall!
Overall, Headless Issue 2 is a solid continuation from where we left off! Now, while I love the visuals during the flashbacks, I think the pages featured too much dialog and information, especially with the span of the issue itself. However, this information dump could be a sign of how the other issues may be more action oriented. If that is to be case moving forward then I am happy we had this issue. Also, I love how the issue ends with the Horseman seemingly triumphant with his first killing in the rainy and moonlit, mall parking lot. Nevertheless, I continue to recommend that people should pick up Headless Issue 2, and check out Headless Issue 1 for completion sake.