"Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #8" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Archie Horror
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Illustrated by Robert Hack
2017, 36 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 16th, 2017
Stop me if you've heard this one: Edward Spellman has been resurrected in the body of his daughter Sabrina's boyfriend Harvey Kinkle thanks to some meddling from his ex-girlfriend, who goes by the name of Madam Satan. Edward has some plans to get back at those who have wronged him, but first, he's going on a date with Sabrina, whom I will remind you is his daughter.
The cringe factor is high in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #8. This is amplified by Edward's narration as he grapples with just how wrong this whole setup is. Sabrina has no idea who is lurking inside the body of her boyfriend. She thinks it's just Harvey returned from the dead. Meanwhile, Edward is in there wondering if it's okay to make out with his daughter. Gross.
The bulk of the series to date has shown just how young and naïve Sabrina is. She is a teenager and is in a unique position as a half-human / half-witch, so she's struggling between the power of her magical side and the fun of a normal life. She can't have both. As a result, Sabrina has been swept up in teenage flights of fancy. She's fallen head over heels for Harvey and will stop at nothing to be with him, even if that means toying with necromancy.
|Click images to enlarge|
This innocence comes through perfectly in Robert Hack's artwork. Although Sabrina is capable of conjuring dark magic and her family worships the devil, she's pure and squeaky clean. She's just a young girl in love. She's also not sexualized, which makes the opening pages where she's singing in her bedroom in nothing but her underwear almost uncomfortable. It's a relief when she puts her clothes on.
Sabrina is unaware of the evil that has been scheming around her all this time in Madam Satan. The witch has been pulling strings in the young girl's life from the beginning. I'm honestly not sure what her endgame is. If she's hoping to punish the Spellman family for Edward dumping her for a human woman, she's about to reach Oldboy-level revenge.
|Click images to enlarge|
Hack strikes a nice balance between the nostalgic period piece and pure terror. The tone of the comic changes when the characters use magic. Sabrina's pupils disappear. Her aunts turn into wretched hags. They call upon some vile creatures called psychopomps that look like a Lovecraftian version of Krang from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
This is where Sabrina stands up for herself, taking control of her life. She's been told what to do by everyone around her forever. Now she's in the driver's seat. Unfortunately, she's driving right off a cliff as a number of dark forces swirl around her. The stakes are raised considerably and this poor girl is stuck in the middle. I just hope she doesn't make out with her dad.