In a world of love triangles, horny teenagers, and milkshakes, Sabrina the Teenage Witch kind of sticks out a bit, doesn’t she? I’ve always found her curious so I like old school Archie Comics stories more if they have Sabrina in it. That’s why I started reading Afterlife with Archie — and I kept reading because it is a genuinely entertaining book, not just because I have a thing for Sabrina. And if you like Afterlife with Archie, especially the 6th issue which focuses on Sabrina, then you will totally dig Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1.
Let me just say first that I didn’t know issue #1 had a die-cut cover. I thought in preview images that it was strange to have a really boring shot of a house with Sabrina’s unnaturally large head peeking out a window. When I got my copy, I was pleasantly surprised. Behold, the GIF I made of Sabrina #1‘s super neat cover:
Suddenly I’m glad that I’ve started picking up physical single issues again after a year of exclusively reading digital comics. I still love you though, Comixology.
Robert Hack gives us a completely different, almost unrecognizable world with his art that leans more towards realism and away from the traditional cartoon-y style of Archie Comics. Francesco Francavilla gives us a dark spin on Riverdale residents but they still have that cartoon-y quality — Hack totally gives us a dose of reality, so it’s more unsettling than usual to see a sassy cat talking about his failed attempt at bringing forth the biblical End of Days.
The story itself is a mixed bag. It starts off with a disturbing look into Sabrina’s childhood, pivots into a cheesy high school romcom complete with a cameo from Betty and Veronica, and then violently swings right back into being a sinister fucked up horror show. Because I’m reading Afterlife with Archie, also written by Sabrina writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, I came into this with certain expectations and I’m not sure they were all met. They got the spooky part right, but I was expecting more hijinks. But it does blow my mind that even with a change of tone and some major tweaks to their story, Sabrina and her supporting cast still work as characters with their personalities intact.
My favorite part of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1 though is this character who seems to be the series’ initial main antagonist: MADAME SATAN.
With a name like that, you know this naked deer-eating chick is one bad MOFO.
The issue might be a bit uneven, but it’s still a strong horror title with some wicked fun thrown in. Bonus points for the backup story which is a reprint of Sabrina’s first appearance.
Heh. She’s 99 9/10% pure. Priceless. I give Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1 3 dragons behind every smile.