A great horror comic with mythology and atmosphere, steeped in the traditions of the genre and medium.
Tricked into thinking she is meeting her resurrected lover Harvey Kinkle, Sabrina is, in fact, being manipulated by her undead father, the warlock Edward Spellman. As she sits down with ‘Harvey’ to explain to him how he came back to life, she is confronted by her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, who bring with them some supernatural back-up. But all of this is just part of Edward’s elaborate plan for revenge. A plan that includes not just his family, but every living thing as well.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #8
Written by: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by: Robert Hack
Lettering by: Jack Morelli
Published by: Archie Comics
Like all Archie Horror titles, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina takes well-known characters and concepts and pushes them into the realm of horror. But unlike the other books (After Life With Archie, Jughead: The Hunger) Sabrina has always been about the supernatural, so it’s less of a stretch and more a..ahem..natural fit. But it’s more than just that which separates this from the rest of the Archie horror line. Sabrina has been crafting a story set in the ’60s, with a deep mythology steeped in classic American horror fiction and even history.
This issue has more action that we have seen before, and it’s nice to finally see Sabrina use her various powers in different ways. Writer Roberto Aguierre-Sacasa paced the issue well, beginning and ending it with tension, and making the center piece a big fight between Sabrina and her aunts. It shows us how powerful Sabrina just may be if she can take on two seasoned witches. He also crafts some pretty disturbing themes, playing and teasing elements of incest.
The way the narrative is told is also clever. It has an omniscient narration that reads like old school E.C. horror comics, something this book has always been a welcome call back to.
Another great aspect is, despite all that, he still is able to give Sabrina a bit of innocence and naivety. She’s in over head, may be doing bad things, but is far from an ‘evil witch’. She’s still likable and it’s her father Edward that is the true villain here.
And if you are an Archie fan, there are some nice easter eggs and nods. We get to see the Jughead of this world, as well as a GREAT allusion to the zombie Jughead that kicked off the Afterlife With Archie title a few years ago. It’s a neat way of connecting the books without having a “continuity”. Oh and the spell battle happens at Pop’s Diner which is fucking perfect.
Robert Hack once again illustrates the hell out of this book. There is a wood grain like texture to his work that is perfect for the atmosphere this title needs. It emphasizes the feel of the woods and town.
The color palette is all oranges, browns and Earth tones. It feels like fall, Halloween, etc. You can almost feel the chill in the wind, the crispness of the fall.
Oh, and the monsters and gruesome moments are again straight out of the Tales From The Crypt school of horror comics. The art does not hold back on the gore when it needs to, and it creates quite a striking contrast with the elegance of the whole thing.
Both horror and Archie fans will find much to enjoy in this comic. It’s a book for fans of the genre done with a lot of love for the medium. The worst you can say about it is it has a bit of an irregular release schedule, but then it makes it almost an event when a new issue is out. Get in on this now.