REVIEW: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #3

Script: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art: Robert Hack, Jack Morelli
Cover: Robert Hack
Publisher:  Archie Horror
Release Date: 05/27/2015

If you’re reading this and you’re unaware of what the premise to The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is, allow me to explain before we go any further. Sabrina is one of Archie Comic’s older and more successful titles. You might even remember a television series depicting her whimsical and comedic adventures as a teenage witch. This is that, but not that at all. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is set all the way back in the sixties, when the Sabrina comic originally released. However, it is a grim retelling under Archie Horror. The characters and names are the same, however their light-hearted take on witchcraft is entirely out the window. Every confused and angry rumor your grandmother ever tried to tell you about Harry Potter is brought to life as this teenage witch deals with balancing her school work, her boyfriend, and her service to Satan. In this third issue, complications come as Ms. Porter, a substitute teacher at Sabrina’s school who is actually there with intentions to sabotage the young witch, begins to meddle in Sabrina’s personal affairs. Namely, her relationship with Harvey Kinkle. This happens as Sabrina is preparing for her sixteenth birthday and her Baptism, where she decide whether to fully embrace life as a witch, or to deny service to the Dark Lord, and live life as a mortal.

The art in this title is perfect. The designs feel appropriately classic, like something straight out of the sixties, however the execution is very modern. The lines may follow antique paths, but they’re rough and thin. The shading and texturing is dark, almost muddy. The entire color pallet feels colorful but muted, and echoes the autumn season where the story takes place. The layout feels similarly classic, and at times I forgot whether what I was reading was something new, or something I found in a dark attic somewhere.

The story is, as I am sure was their goal, unsettling. The cheesy school life is contrasted by constant references to Lucifer and dark rituals. Seeing such familiar and wholesome characters suddenly spout out “Hail Satan” is a shock to the system for sure. This title is not the sort of horror that attempts to actually frighten, but the sort of tale designed to create unease, to repulse ever so subtly.

All in All The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina a great horror title and you should definitely give it a read if horror is your sort of thing. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who liked reading something spooky and, frankly, I really don’t have anything bad to say about it.

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