When last we saw Sabrina, she was settling into her life in a strange, arcane little town, unaware that a terrible presence known as Madame Satan was roughly slouching in her direction… Your Major Spoilers review of Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #2 awaits!
Previously in Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina: “On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress Sabrina Spellman found herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family’s past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda…”
THAT IS ONE *AMAZING* COVER
It’s been a long wait since Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #1, a book which came out circa last Halloween, so my expectations on this issue were a bit high going in. I’ll tell you right up front: The creators exceeded even those expectations. The first half of the issue is devoted to Madame Satan, a super-minor Archie Comics Golden Age hero retrofitted to be the antagonist in Sabrina’s adventures, albeit a charismatic and tragic antagonist. (She’s almost *likeable* in her casual, affable maybe-evil.) After reading the first six pages, I stopped to check my place in the book, certain that I had to be more than halfway through the issue already due to the amount of story material already delivered. The tone of the piece is very effective at conveying dread, and by the time Madame Satan arrives at the sanitarium where Sabrina’s mother stays, the tension is almost unbearable…
A WELL-WRITTEN STORY
No explicit reason for the delay in production is given, but the density and detail of the script might be one reason, as every page has something wonderful in it. (Hilda and Zelda distractedly chiding Sabrina and her cousin for telepathically communicating too “loud” is wonderful, while a cameo appearance by Ann Margret is a delightful surprise.) There’s a strong musical theme throughout the issue, with Madame S singing ‘Que Sera Sera’ throughout and a full-on musical number by Sabrina. The art is simply gorgeous, full of texture and subtly colored, making it feel like a classic Warren Magazine or the comic equivalent of a Hammer Horror film, with the final-page reveal of “Miss Porter” standing out as a highlight.
THE BOTTOM LINE: REALLY EFFECTIVE HORROR
I was impressed with ‘Afterlife With Archie,’ I was impressed with the first issue of this book, and I’m darn near in love with this issue’s love-letter to Gothic horror, including a subtle Stephen King reference and casually monstrous acts dribbled throughout the book. Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #2 actually doubles-down on the quality of the last issue, delivering an issue full of wonderful, quiet details that looks frankly beautiful, earning 5 out of 5 stars overall. Whatever one thinks of Archie’s forays into horror comic books, this one proves that ‘Afterlife’ was more than just a one-time fluke…