Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2

It’s been a while since the first issue, but when I saw the preview copy arrive for the second, I was certain to sit down and read it right away. I’m hoping that the Archie Horror line sticks around, but dread the inevitable Josie and the Pussycats title, although if they do it, I’m betting on some type of were-cats.

sabrina2Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art: Robert Hack
Cover: Robert Hack
Variant Cover: Francesco Francavilla
$3.99
32 pages, full-color
TEEN+
On Sale Date: 4/15

Solicitation:
On the eve of Sabrina’s sixteenth birthday, as she faces a choice that will determine her destiny as a half-witch/half-mortal, an unspeakable terror arrives in Greendale, and her name is… Madam Satan! At long last, the secret history of the Queen of Hell is revealed, as she sets her vengeful gaze upon the Spellman family. No one, especially those close to Sabrina, is safe, and very, very soon, the quiet streets of Greendale run red with blood…

Harvey Award-winning writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack bring this dark re-imagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s occult origin to spine-tingling life.

Sabrina_02-18

Review:
I rather liked the first issue, so when the second came in my mailbox, I was eager to read it. I knew the name Madam Satan, but not where it had come from, which after doing some research, was thrilled to find the sense of humor being had in this rather dark series, and for the most part, this issue is very dark indeed.

sabrina2varFirst, the trivia. Madam Satan was a Golden Age character that used mystical powers to seduce men and send them to Hell. The fun bit of trivia is that she starred in Pep Comics for six issues until her feature was replaced by Archie Andrews. That version has a history that only slightly resembles this one, as this series ties her very closely with Sabrina’s history.

The story makes Sabrina’s world very small, but adds enough elements to keep it large enough to make for a nice beginning of a conflict. Madame Satan is defined as a character dark enough to be a legitimate threat to Sabrina. Robert Hack’s artwork adds that sense of timelessness to the story, although at times, the horrific elements seem too banal, and in the first half of the book, there are enough that when they are shown, they almost lose their impact. Fortunately, one of the more gruesome acts that Madam Satan commits is left off-panel, making it more horrible than if it had been drawn. It’s nice to see that this book understands something that most horror doesn’t, that it can be more horrible if we don’t see it happen.

Am I in for the third issue? Of course I am, and for a Sabrina comic, that is saying something major.