The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #4 (Archie Comics)
If you had told me a year ago that one of my favorite comics on the stands would be one starring Sabrina the Teenage Witch, I would’ve laughed in your face. And yet here we are with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #4, a series that I’m unabashedly in love with. Set in the same world as Archie’s Afterlife With Archie series, Sabrina is a much more mature take on the world of the teenage witch. Hell, it’s even more mature than Afterlife, with writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack delivering one of the creepiest comics on the stands.
This issue finds Sabrina searching for her boyfriend Harvey, who’s running through the woods after accidentally coming across the dark ritual that will make Sabrina immortal. Naturally, the other witches aren’t happy that a mortal has stumbled upon their sacred ritual, so they give chase. After escaping from her fellow witches, Sabrina is too late to save Harvey, who’s eaten by one of the witches. Later on, Sabrina’s aunts explain to her that Harvey had to be sacrificed to appease their “dark lord”, who demanded blood for having a human witness him. After days of helping the townspeople search for Harvey’s body, Sabrina eventually succumbs to her grief, only to be found by Madam Satan, who’s been in disguise as the new English teacher at Sabrina’s high school. Sabrina, unaware that Madame Satan has been orchestrating everything against her, agrees to let Madame Satan show her how to save Harvey from the underworld.
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s script is absolutely dynamite. Like Afterlife With Archie, Aguirre-Sacasa nails the tone for this book. In this case, it’s horror movies like Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist and even Halloween. There’s a huge sense of tension and dread on every page, but Aguirre-Sacasa also finds the time to pepper in some really sweet moments as well, like when Sabrina sees the visions of the life she and Harvey were meant to have, or the first time Harvey was running through the woods (a plot point that actually becomes pretty important later on in the issue).
As tension filled as Aguirre-Sacasa’s script is, it’s nothing compared to the terrifying art by Robert Hack. There’s some stuff in here that will definitely keep you up at night. Hack’s one of the Archie Comic staple artists, but what he’s been doing on this series will blow you away. While this issue has some weird panels where characters have some out of nowhere facial expressions, Hack more than makes up for it with the horrifying look of the Witches in their true forms.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a book that has suffered delays, but they aren’t nearly as long as they used to be. This is a series that I tried out with no expectations, and I’m still completely blown away by it. This is a must read for fans of horror. Sure, the name “Sabrina” probably makes you immediately think of the old TGIF line up, but trust me; this book is NOT for kids. It is, however, for people who love getting the crap scared out of them. Buy this book.