Well it’s been a bit since we last saw this series which was actually the first time as well. I’ve come to be patient with the Archie Horror line and especially with all the happenings and going ons over at Archie HQ. That and there’s still so many unknowns about this series and story; how could I not come back for more? There wasn’t much of our title character in the first issue and there’s even less of her in this issue. I was actually okay with that because this world is frightening and creepy. Witches haven’t been scary for a long time, I blame Bewitched and Bewitched-lite aka Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Sure Harry Potter has made magic and the like serious and at times scary again, but here it’s horrific. There’s some true horror on these pages and so even though Sabrina was absent… I was pleased.
This issue is called “The Secret History of Madam Satan” and that’s exactly what it is. We meet Madam Satan wondering the bottom of a body of water until she comes across a camp grounds. Let me stop and tell you that her face is fucking gross. It’s gross and if you came face to face with her in real life you would be scared and disgusted. Long story short she steals a girls face and heads out into the world to try to figure out who she is and what she’s come to do. The secret is that she was Sabrina’s father’s first love and she wants some revenge on the man and his family.
There’s a lot going on, but it’s really good and accompanied by a strong narrative so I don’t see much point in summing up anything further. We do of course see more of Sabrina and the fam, but for the bulk of the issue we’re just with Madam Satan and we see her develop into quite the character.
What’s really enjoyable about the character, other than the name and the evil, is that she’s her own kind of scary. The witches in the first issue where scary and they did some really messed up things, but Madam Satan is her own kind of scary. It’s not just a repeat of “witches are scary” and I appreciated that. It added to the world. Now suddenly there are two opposing forces of evil at play and we don’t know what the end game for either of them are. We have a good idea, but really do we? Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s writing is very strong on this issue and again the narration was very strong and lead the book.
On the art side Robert Hack matches the tone of the story. He makes this world scary and horrific and without that the story would fall flat. I don’t know if too many other artists in the biz at the moment could produce artwork that fits this world so well. Hell it’s not even that he fits it, it’s that he’s creating it. He’s creating this dark corner and at times it looks innocent, but then he reminds you that it still has claws. It’s great artwork and while I don’t know what caused the delay, I’ll say that he made it worth the wait.
Obviously with this being the second issue you can easily catch up on this series. If you’re a horror fan I would definitely recommend it. It’s not “boo” scary, nor is it a thriller trying to be a horror, it’s just a terrifying world that has layer upon layers.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2 Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Artist: Robert Hack Publisher: Archie/Archie Horror Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/15/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital