Review: Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #3

Archie caught hell for their Kickstarter last week, but it hasn’t stopped them from continuing their Horror line, one of the best things to come out of Archie in recent years. The second book in that line, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, came for me after what I could only perceive as a lackluster week where only a handful of comics seemed to be worth the time it took to read them, much less the money being asked for in the cover price. I was ready for I book I have liked in the past to give me another installment of some enjoyable reading.

Sabrina_03-0CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA #3

Script: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art: Robert Hack, Jack Morelli
Cover: Robert Hack
To Hell and Back Variant Cover: Robert Hack
On Sale Date: 5/27
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Solicitation:

It’s the night before Halloween, the night before Sabrina’s sixteenth birthday, the night of the blood-moon and the lunar eclipse, and Sabrina has made her decision: She will go into the woods of Greendale as a half-witch and emerge…on the other side of a frightful ritual…as a fully baptized member of the Church of Night. But there will be a cost, and his name is Harvey. And unbeknownst to Sabrina and her aunts, there is a serpent in the garden, their great enemy Madam Satan, who is conspiring against them…
For TEEN+ readers.Sabrina_03-4_500

Review:

 

Archie catches a lot of flak every time it tries to update its characters or revamp its squeaky-clean image. I do have to admit that from the first issue, this series impressed the hell out of me in the way it takes a character that was the most innocent version of a horror icon, one that used to be expressly forbidden by the Comics Code Authority, and updated her without betraying the essence of her character. This issue is no different, as Sabrina is a typical 16 year-old girl in the 1960s, torn between her boyfriend’s pressuring for sex and her desire to remain pure, albeit for a satanic ritual that will release her full witch powers, but still, she wants to remain pure. Madam Satan is working covertly to undermine Sabrina’s development, using all of the tricks she did in the Golden Age, as demonstrated by this issue’s reprinting of a classic Madam Satan story.

The only flaw in the story is the reliance on flashbacks, and it may have been one two many, but they do help explain the plot, which makes them useful. However, they do slow down the action slightly. The story seems to be treading a stereotypical revenge plot, but I could be surprised with the next couple of issues.

The artwork maintains the quality of the previous issues, setting a great autumnal tone for the story, which matches with the story falling right around Halloween. It also has the feel of the old EC Horror comics, had they had the opportunity of modern technology. It has an almost timeless quality to it, and while remaining true to the characters’ origins and legacies, firmly makes them the stars of a horror comic.