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CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA #1 (comic review)

Review by Erin Maxwell
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1
Written by Robert Aguierre-Sacasa
Art by Robert Hack
Lettering by Jack Morelli
Published by Archie Comics

Going the way of her comic book cronies, Sabrina Spellman gets a Dark Knight makeover in the new series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

After the success of Afterlife With Archie, the white-haired, doe-eyed teenage witch was due for a reboot.

After all, small jinxes and malts at Pop’s Soda Shoppe can only go so far in the modern age.

Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and art by Robert Hack, the fun-loving high school gal who enjoyed milkshakes and school dances has been put to bed thanks to a dark backstory filled with murder, mayhem and insanity.

Even loving aunties Zelda and Hilda have been replaced with twisted sisters who worship the dark lord.

All in all, this ain’t your mama’s Sabrina.

Set in 1951, readers are quickly thrown into the darkness with the introduction of warlock Edward Theodore Spellman, a religious man. Although his religion strays from the norm.

He worships the Dark One, and is willing to sacrifice all that he loves to his god, including his white-haired newborn.

After an attempt to save her only offspring from the hands of the coven goes away, Diane Spellman must pay the price for her insolence with her sanity, leaving the fate of the innocent in Edward’s hands.

But his time was limited as well.

The comic takes the reader through the trials and tribulations of Sabrina’s childhood, from destroyed birthday parties to teasing in her private school for the magically inclined. Raised by her aunties and living with her English cousin Ambrose and familiar Salem, Sabrina embraces her situation, becoming very much a product of her generation, spouting both pop culture references and magic alike.

A clever and compelling story, the comic even takes its time to poke fun at its source material, as Betty and Veronica make a casual cameo with a twisted turn, setting the events in motion for the first story arc.

The look of the comic is a vast difference from the traditional Archie comics. Gone are the thick lines and traditional comic designs of the Archie comic. The sketched style of the comic matches the dark tones of the book, while the coloring helps spotlight the witchy feel of the story.

Although the art is at time inconsistent, especially with the title character herself, the limited color palette, use of shading and general look of the characters help create a new world for Sabrina to romp through.

The book is packed with bonus features, including sketch pages, additional covers, and Sabrina’s first introduction to Archie audiences with a reprint of 1962’s Archie’s Madhouse. A true treat for any Archie fan.

Sabrina, dollface, I have no idea where you are taking me, but I’m along for the ride.

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