Saturday, October 11, 2014

Archie Comics Explores the Dark World of the Occult in CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA #1

One year ago this month, Archie Comics hit a home-run with its AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE comic book. I think they knew that it would grab some attention, but I don't think they seriously anticipated the amount of attention that would come from that dark tale of black magic, flesh-eating zombies, and the Riverdale Gang. It was easily their best-selling comic book series in quite some time!

So it wasn't a surprise that they would try to re-bottle that genie and see if they could replicate that magic. Looking through their most recognizable brands, it wasn't difficult to pick out Sabrina the Teenage Witch for the company's latest makeover into a horror comic book. Welcome to CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA!

This isn't a spin-off of AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE. This isn't set in contemporary Riverdale or Greendale. This series is set in 1964 and is heavily influenced by occult classic films such as "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Omen." Keep in mind that I haven't see either of these movies. But that didn't stop me from enjoying Archie Comics' dark dabblings.

We readers were treated to a lot in this comic book. First, we learn that she is the daughter of Edward and Diana Spellman. He is a Satanic warlock and she is a mortal being forced to make the ultimate sacrifice. It's midnight on Sabrina's first birthday and her parents are to turn her over to the care of Edward's Coven. Diana fights to save her precious child, but she really never stood a chance:

Sabrina's parents are eventually removed from the story and she finds herself raised by her two aunts Hilda and Zelda. Things don't work out for the best in Westbridge, so the family eventually relocates to Greendale USA where she is joined by her familiar Salem the Cat and her wicked cousin Ambrose so she can be raised in a new Coven and not be known as a halfbreed witch.

Incidentally, one of these characters will eventually be revealed to exist along the LGBT spectrum. I don't know this for a fact, but I can read subtext. I shall leave it at that...

Sabrina eventually enrolls in Greendale's public school and falls head-over-heels in love with Harvey Kinkle, the local school's BMOC. Cousin Ambrose tempts Sabrina into preparing a spell that will help Harvey fall in love with her -- despite Salem's objections. It seems like things turn out well with Sabrina's love potion -- but the series is young and forbidden spells rarely turn out for the best! I guess we'll need to see what happens in SABRINA #2!

By the way, did I mention that Madam Satan -- a Golden Age villain who recently appeared in THE FOX -- shows up in the final three pages of this comic book sporting a killer blood lust and need for revenge against Sabrina's missing father??

"The Crucible: Something Wicked" is written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, drawn by Robert Hack, and lettered by Jack Morelli. This is a great comic book with lots of meat scattered for future storylines! You definitely should check it out!


Anonymous said...

I was real hesitant about this book, but I had my shop order me one. I'm picking it up next week. I'm a real fan of classic Sabrina so I was worried this would be too occultish and not funny at all. I hope I'm wrong. It looks like it could be campy by the few previews and reviews I've read. Hopefully it will be. Can't wait to check it out! Love your reviews, Jon.

Jon said...

Thanks Spazaru! :)