"Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #7" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Archie Horror
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Illustrated by Robert Hack
2017, 44 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on July 5th, 2017
After almost a year long absence, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina returns with the first chapter of Witch-War. I’ve been dying to see where this story goes next. Issue #6 was a stand-alone tale showing the origins of her cat, Salem. When we last left Sabrina, she was heartbroken after the death of her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle. She performed some dark magic in the woods at the behest of Madam Satan and now Harvey’s back…sort of. His body is up and moving, but the real inhabitant is her father, Edward Spellman. Yes, this gets even creepier as he calls Sabrina to hook up.
Instead of diving into this present-day story, the book goes way into the past, showing the origin of Edward and how he rose to power in the Church of Night. This begins somewhat humorously, as young Edward Spellman is a spitting image of Eddie Munster, complete with widow’s peak and short pants. Edward was conjuring demons from the age of seven and proved very adept at the task. This allowed him to rise through the ranks of the Church rather quickly. What he couldn’t get on skill alone, he got through manipulation and deceit.
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It’s clear that Edward is a dangerous man. Until this issue, we didn’t know the extent of his evil. He’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants and he has special plans for Sabrina. They were put in place ages ago and he pulled many strings to get her to this point.
This tale is recounted by Edward, now in Harvey’s body, as he literally eats Mr. Kinkle. Mrs. Kinkle is tied up next to him as he takes this trip down memory lane. The opening page is rather unsettling, particularly with the blood smeared across Harvey / Edward’s face. The boy’s father’s face is half torn off, revealing a skull in a macabre image.
Artist Robert Hack continues to capture an exploitation era look and feel with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Even the page itself looks withered and worn, as if it was just unearthed from some forgotten stack of books in the back of an attic somewhere. The colors appear somewhat faded. It all adds to the time period the book is set in.
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Hack showcases a wide array of demons in this chapter. The witches are human in appearance despite their supernatural powers. The demons that show up next to them are jarring and unnatural. One that really stands out is Beelzebub, who is depicted as a giant fly with the mouth of a man. This small difference is enough to disturb any reader.
There’s no doubt that Edward Spellman is a force to be reckoned with and a major threat to young Sabrina. I just want to get to that showdown already, as we’ve waited long enough for the two to meet. I am so curious as to how it will all play out. I question the need for this full flashback issue, as we already had a break from the main story with the previous chapter. This delays the confrontation even more and makes me ever anxious to get going.