Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1

I have never been a fan of Sabrina. Not the show, not the comics and believe me I have tried to enjoy both. Particularly with the show when I would watch it on Friday nights, but only because there was nothing else on and it was one of the nights of the week that I was allowed to watch a lot of TV as a kid. I think I made it one season before I decided to just give up on getting the most out of network television. But this… this isn’t your typical Sabrina. I couldn’t wait to read this new darker take on the character and oh is it dark and creepy. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is a beast when it comes to the Archie Universe. I can only hope that he has something gritty and mature for Jossie and the Pussycats planned.

This issue begins with Sabrina’s birth. Her father is a Warlock and her mother is a mortal. His sisters and the rest of the coven make their entrance as they’ve come to take Sabrina as payment for helping in her birth. Too bad mom Diana has other thoughts as she begins running through the woods. They of course catch up with her instantly and take Sabrina. Diana threatens to tell everyone which is a bad threat to make.

Sabrina_01-0Eventually we see Sabrina growing up, but after the tragic events with her mother and the disappearance of her father she’s left to be raised with Zelda and Hilda. From there we continue to see Sabrina grow up; but after an event at school in which another student tells her that she’s a “half-breed” the family uproots.

The issue is actually a doubled-sized issue practically so there’s a lot of the story that I’m not covering. By the end of the issue though we’re introduced to all the familiar characters and the supporting cast.

Aguirre-Sacasa nails this issue. I mean just wow! If you think Archie Comics are just for kids then you’re really not paying attention to the books that they’re making. This is another in a line of pretty incredible stories and it really bothers me that people might be writing it off because it’s Archie. Good comics are good comics regardless of who publishes them so don’t let that cause you to miss out on this issue.

Aguirre-Sacasa’s dialogue is what really shines with this story. The characters are very unique, but full of personality. As we watch Sabrina grow up you can see her personality develop and change. It’s a great transition that’s rarely executed this well in comic books.

Of course a good story hinges on the art. The art can make or break the story, but thankfully the talented Robert Hack is working on this series. First off if you’re only exposure to the character was the TV show, then don’t expect that… at all. And then be very glad that there was no fan service done in that regard because Hack creates a new and distinct world for Sabrina. His artwork overall has an eerie vibe to it. It’s not exactly creepy, but it does have its moments; really it’s just strange and eerie which is wonderful.

You should be excited for the next issue of this series. I know that I can’t wait as Archie has another hit on its hands. It just goes to show that there’s always something interesting to do with characters if you’re willing to put in the work to make the story worth the reader’s time. This is definitely worth the time; in fact you might end up owing it some.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Artist: Robert Hack Publisher: Archie Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/8/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital