Sunday, July 27, 2014

Meet Sabrina the Teenage Bride in AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #6

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE is the breakout comic book title for Archie Comics. It started out viewed by many as a farce but has turned out to be a great horror comic book.

I should note before I get too far into this discussion...

This blog entry contains spoilers. If you don't want to know what happens in AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #6, then stop reading now. You have been warned.

Back to the show...

For the unfamiliar, here is the nutshell. Reggie killed Jughead's dog Hot Dog in a vehicular hit-and-run. Riverdale's grieving woman-hater turned to his magical friend Sabrina the Teenage Witch to heal his dead dog. She secretly used dark magic to bring back Hot Dog, whose resurrection ended up heralding an apocalyptic invasion of the undead. By the end of the first story arc, a handful of survivors have fled Riverdale to seek refuge from untold numbers of zombie cannibals.

But where is Sabrina? After casting the spell Hot Dog's resurrection spell, her aunts had her banished to some witch-hell dimension to ponder her mistake. We readers finally catch up with our favorite teenage witch in AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #6.

Sabrina is being treated in an old fashioned mental health asylum, participating in therapies and participating in group therapy. Her counselors are working to convince her that her aunts died in a fire and that her magical heritage is a fictional story created by her mind. Meanwhile, the people around her continue to shift from people to demonic entities -- always just out of sight. But it's enough to convince her that something is up.

Anyway, it become abundantly clear in this story that we are dealing with H.P. Lovecraft's Elder Gods. Sabrina's being treated by Dr. Lovecraft and Dr. Machen (obviously designed to be H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur Machen). All of the demonic images are Lovecraftian. The two other kids in Sabrina's group (Erich Zann and Richard Pickman) are patterned after characters within Lovecraft's stories.

And then there is this:

That's right. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is now the Bride of Cthulhu.

Let's get this out of the way. I have never read anything by H.P. Lovecraft. I am only vaguely aware of his work or his history. On the other hand, Husband Mark spent a good chunk of 2013 reading a collection of his work. Also, my online friend Jimmy is a huge fan of the horror genre. So I turned to both men to see what this means for our new teen bride.

The general consensus is that Sabrina is now destined for a horrible fate. Cthulhu will use her as breeding stock for his offspring. Kind of like the Duggars, except we're dealing with Elder Gods and teenage witches! So that's pleasant.

It was interesting to note that Sabrina's aunts were present at the wedding. One could argue that they were not really there, but instead demonic shades wearing their faces. But I actually believe that her aunts are part of this cult. Which is kind of sad and scary.

Dr. Lovecraft told Sabrina that the people of Riverdale were lucky, because they are now all dead. If the zombie carnage that took place in AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #1-5 is lucky, I cannot imagine what kind of new horrors we readers get to look forward to as this series progresses!

"Witch In The Dream House" was written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, drawn by Francesco Francavilla, and lettered by Jack Morelli.


Jon said...

Spazaru: I am totally sorry. I hit delete instead of publish with your latest comment. I totally did not mean to do this. Once again, I apologize!!!

Here is was Spazaru wrote:

Great review! I have to admit that I know nothing of Lovecraft either. I have never had any interest in the occult and if Sabrina wasn't one of my favorite characters, I doubt I'd read something like this. It was bizarre to say the least, for me anyway. I'd never heard of Cthulhu either. I enjoyed the issue but really hope that they don't go too much further with this particular arc. Afterlife has been a great book but being more of a classic Archie fan, I hope that when (and if) it resolves, it will be because Archie and Sabrina team up to defeat whatever evil there is. I wasn't even planning to pick up the new Sabrina series until I saw Chris Sims' interview with Roberto Aguire-Sacasa and he said Betty and Veronica will be witches in a rival coven. How can I not give THAT a chance? Ha ha.

Bill the Butcher said...

As a devoted Lovecraft fan and sometime fan fiction writer, I can only say that this is the best pictorial representation of Great Cthulhu I've ever come across. However, I have problems with the idea that Cthulhu could even want a human mate, let alone use her as breeding stock. Cthulhu and the other Great Old Ones are so far above humanity that humans are scarcely any more real to them than dust mites in our houses are to us. Not that I like Sabrina as a character overmuch or ever did. The fate of being Great Cthulhu's bride is something I wouldn't mind for her at all.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!