ICHABOD CRANE

Real Name: Ichabod Crane

Identity/Class: Human (18th century)

Occupation: School teacher

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Katrina Van Tassel

Enemies: Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt, Vlad Tepes Dracula, Headless Horseman, Man-Thing (see comments), Werewolf (see comments)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
   formerly Sleepy Hollow, New York

First Appearance: (historical) Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820);
    (Marvel, mentioned) Uncanny Tales I#22/6 (July 1954)
    (Marvel, seen) Supernatural Thrillers#6 (November 1973)

Powers/Abilities:

Height: 6' (by estimation)
Weight: 155 lbs. (by estimation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: White

History:
(
Legend of Sleepy Hollow/Supernatural Thrillers#6 (fb) - BTS) - Circa 1790, Ichabod Crane was a school teacher who moved to Sleepy Hollow in upstate New York, where he became a love rival of town rowdy Brom Bones for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel. Crane was a firm believer in the supernatural, and lapped up stories of the local legend of a Hessian soldier who had been decapitated by a cannonball during the American Revolution, and who now supposedly rode the region some nights looking for a replacement head to take off some unfortunate traveler.

   While riding home from an autumn party at the Van Tassel farm, Ichabod had the misfortune to encounter the ghostly rider and become its latest target.

(Supernatural Thrillers#6 (fb)) - Aware that the legend said the Horseman would give up the pursuit only if the prey could make it across a nearby bridge, Crane rode for his life with the Horseman in close pursuit.

(Legend of Sleepy Hollow/Supernatural Thrillers#6 (fb) - BTS) - The next morning there was no sign of Crane, though the townspeople found his abandoned horse. They remained uncertain as to whether the Horseman had claimed him or if he had merely fled the region in terror following his encounter.

(Uncanny Tales I#22/6 (fb) - BTS) - It was believed by many that Bram had scared Ichabod away using the legend, in order to eliminate his rival for Katrina's hand.

(Mighty Marvel Calendar 1976 (fb) - BTS) - Crane apparently survived and relocated elsewhere, but his luck with supernatural encounters did not improve.

(Mighty Marvel Calendar 1976) - During another night ride Crane was accosted by the vampire Dracula, a werewolf and a swamp monster; his fate remains unrevealed.

Comments: Created by Washington Irving; adapted into Marvel by Garry Friedrich, George Tuska and Jack Abel.

   We now know from Ruins of Ravencroft: Sabretooth that there was a Spirit of Vengeance (Ghost Rider) who was a Headless Horseman in the region of Ravencroft, Westchester in 1820; this may be the same Horseman that Ichabod encountered, but given there's thirty years between them and that it has been established that Spirits of Vengeance adopt "memeforms" based on local legends, the 1820 Headless Horseman may have taken on that identity because there was a pre-existing ghost and widespread legend.

   The main image and the encounter with Dracula and others comes from the Mighty Marvel Calendar 1976, which celebrated the United States Bicentennial with suitably themed images from U.S. history but with added Marvel characters. Thus for October we got Ichabod Crane encountering three of Marvel's major monsters, rather than the Headless Horseman. Since we know the Horseman and hence Crane do exist on Earth-616 (the mainstream Marvel universe) and the calendar image contradicts no firmly established continuity, for the sake of this profile I'm assuming it depicts another, different but still genuine event in the unfortunate Crane's life.

   In terms of the three monsters present:
     Dracula - there's no great problem with his presence in 1790's USA, as he'd been around for centuries prior to that.
     Werewolf - unless time travel is involved (and that's not that big a stretch in the Marvel universe) this presumably wouldn't be Jack Russell, but there's no shortage of other werewolves on Earth-616, so one turning up around 1790 isn't a problem.
     Man-Thing - again, time travel would have to be involved for this to be the best known Man-Thing, Ted Sallis, but that's not impossible for anyone living in the Marvel universe. Alternatively, we have seen in recent years other beings that resemble the Ted Sallis Man-Thing, including Boy-Thing, Man-Slaughter, and a Man-Thing that seems to have predated Sallis by an unrevealed number of years that lived in the Savage Land, so it's not out of the question that there might have been a being resembling the Man-Thing around in the 1790s.

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Ichabod Crane has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Mighty Marvel Calendar 1976, p21, pan1 (main image)
Supernatural Thrillers#6, p1, pan3 (headshot)


Appearances:
Supernatural Thrillers#6 (November 1973) - Garry Friedrich (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Mighty Marvel Calendar 1976 (1975) - Tony Isabella (writer, editor), Frank Brunner (artist)


First Posted: 10/03/2021
Last updated: 10/03/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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