Madam Satan clawed her way out of the underworld and made a new life in Greendale. So, Lucifer brought Hell to her. Your Major Spoilers review of Madam Satan: Hell On Earth #1 from Archie Comics awaits!
MADAM SATAN: HELL ON EARTH #1
Writer: Eliot Rahal
Artist: Vincenzo Federici
Colorist: Ellie Wright
Letterer: Jack Morelli
Editor: Jamie Lee Rotante
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 20, 2023
Previously in Madam Satan: Hell On Earth: After Madam Satan waged war on Baxter High, Hell descended upon Earth, and even she isn’t safe. Madam Satan seeks refuge from the forces of Lucifer in a random suburban home… and who she meets there is surprising. But is the stranger friend or foe?
And can the two of them work together to summon Eldritch Terrors and stop Satan’s rampage?
THE MAGIC IS DEAD
We open in the midst of a literal apocalypse, as Madam Satan’s familiar tears the flesh from Sabrina Spellman’s face, and the Teenage Witch shows fear for perhaps the first time. For some reason, though, Madam Satan disengages the attack and makes a break for it. As she flees, the pursuing demons call her a traitor, but before she can fully escape… something happens. Madam Satan’s familiar falls to the ground, once again a pile of bones, as she realizes that her magic is gone. An uncertain amount of time later, she is just another wretch on the streets of Riverdale, wrapped in bandages to hide the loss of her beauty, begging for whatever she can get to survive. When she begins trying to perform a ritual sacrifice to summon some sort of magical energy, she is interrupted… by a bat to the head!
Li’l Jinx doesn’t care for weirdos performing blood rituals in her living room.
A TEAM-UP YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEEDED
So, the “in media res” opening of this issue initially made me think it was continued from one of the previous Chilling Adventures Halloween one-shots, but if that is the case, I can’t identify which one specifically. That’s one of the bigger problems with this story’s accessibility, as several of those stories have featured Madam Satan in similar situations, with endings that cannot be canon to what’s happening here. Likewise, the most recent appearances of Jinx, with the revelation of (ahem) her real dad can’t be connected to this tale, meaning that we’re dealing with more expansion of the Riverdale Multiverse. That wouldn’t be a problem in itself, but this feels like a classic middle chapter, where not much actually happens. The final page promises that the story will be continued, but there’s no indication of where, another problem for me. Federici’s art is quite good, maintaining the soft edges and muted color palette of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but it’s not quite as distinct or as detailed.
BOTTOM LINE: DOESN’T REALLY ACCOMPLISH MUCH
While I enjoy the premise and the unexpected team-up of Madam Satan: Hell On Earth #1, I’m a bit put out that I don’t know where to find the previous or the following chapters, which means that the story feels a bit like I tuned in for only the second and third acts of a TV show, which is tough to get past even with good art, rounding out to 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’ll be watching to see where this goes, but after reading the recent trade paperback of previous Chilling Adventures one-shots, I have a suspicion that the next Chilling Adventures story will do something entirely different anyway.
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MADAM SATAN: HELL ON EARTH #1
This story picks up from an unknown place, and will be continued in an unknown place, but it's a good-looking middle chapter, if you don't worry about where the shared universe connective tissue.