"Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Archie Horror
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Illustrated by Robert Hack
2015, 36 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 27th, 2015
Young Sabrina Spellman has a lot on her mind. Her boyfriend Harvey is pressuring her to go all the way. She's just been cast as the lead in the high school musical Bye Bye Birdie. Oh, and she's about to pledge her service to Lord Satan when she turns sixteen. Teenagers, am I right? Not all is well for young Sabrina, as Madam Satan (no relation) lurks in the shadows, plotting her revenge against the Spellman clan because she was dumped like 20 years ago by Sabrina's dad.
Much of this issue of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina serves as lead up to the baptism that the title character is set to go through. The importance of the ritual is underlined repeatedly throughout the book. It's not a decision that is taken lightly, but it's also sort of a no-brainer for someone in her position. She does have the option to live out the rest of her days as a mortal with her powers fading over time. If you had the option to be immortal with witch powers or be a regular person with only a handful of abilities, what would you pick?
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Madam Satan has become the most interesting part of this comic. She plots her revenge in plain sight, serving as a substitute teacher at Sabrina's school. She's pulling strings around the young girl's life, manipulating those close to her. At one point, Madam Satan needs to get close to Harvey and it looks like the beginning of a porno movie, with her leaning over in her low-cut dress to the point where the guy gets distracted enough to miss a catch on the football field. The thing about her is that you don't know the full extent of her plans. She has vowed revenge against Sabrina, but the girl doesn't know she's in any danger.
Sometimes I forget that Sabrina is very much a teenager. The scene with her and Harvey in the guy's car is a little uncomfortable as he tries to pressure her to have sex. This isn't helped by the fact that he's often drawn to look like a 40-year-old bowler. Sabrina is going through all the usual doubts and stress that a normal teenager would, but it's amplified by the fact that she has to go talk with Lord Satan tomorrow night.
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Robert Hack's artwork can be rather hit-or-miss throughout the issue. He perfectly captures the time period, drawing a great nostalgia vibe. There are many scenes in which the characters come across in awkward poses. Most of Madam Satan's appearances are pretty spot-on. You can tell she's up to no good right when you see her, but there's something about her that draws you in, making you want to learn more.
I certainly don't envy some of the decisions that Sabrina must make at such a young age. She's still figuring out her place in the world and she has to choose whether to follow in her father and aunts' footsteps with Lord Satan or become a mortal at the age of sixteen. Think about what you were like at that age and the most difficult decision you had to make at that time. Sabrina is a bit of a wet rag with no real personality just yet. This is tough, as she has such an impressive lineage. Hopefully, as Madam Satan starts mucking things up in the girl's life, she'll become a little more interesting.