Archie Comics Publications 2014
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Illustrated by Robert Hack
This series is without a doubt one of the most haunting I’ve had the pleasure to read. Roberto is just managing to take the dark side of being a witch and bringing it to life in such a way that it lives up the Chilling part of it’s title. With Robert’s interiors this is the kind of stuff that nightmares are made of and could honestly rival anything Anne Rice did with her witches saga.
Last issue young Harvey was in the woods on the eve of Sabrina’s baptism and interrupted the ceremony and we pick up right there this issue. Harvey running through the woods as we see a flashback to a few years earlier. This flashback demonstrates nothing more than a slice of life for a regular eleven year old boy finding curiosity in the opposite sex and finding a stack of girlie magazines then running from the boys who’d placed them there. The running in the woods the only common thread and this is a perfect demonstration of how things in life happen the weird memories we experience.
However this time Harvey is running for his life from a large group of witches and this makes the situation even more dire. Back at the clearing one witch, the nun called Della, accuses the Spellman’s of treachery in bringing the boy here and we see some of Sabrina’s power come to light. She also has the clarity of seeing what would have happened if she’d chosen the path of light instead of darkness as her aunt’s had done.
This depiction of her aunts after that night in the woods doesn’t portray them as loving caring women but of witches of the night who toe the line of their coven’s rules and are resigned to live as they are told, as they should or face the dark ones wrath. The writing here is so strong and poignant that you understand the world she hails from and the loneliness that encompasses and how difficult it has to be to come from a world like that where until you are sixteen you experience a normal life until it’s all turned upside down on it’s head.
Cousin Ambrose seems the most normal of her relatives and genuinely cares about how she’s feeling and you get the impression that perhaps because they are true witches her aunts just don’t know how to act with any compassion. So for reason you’ll understand when you read the issue the gang from nearby Riverdale comes to town and by george Robert’s depiction of them is spectacular! I mean such a different realistic look them in the nineteen fifties style they had once upon a time. So why focus on that well it does make for an interesting plot twist and one that well seems a little on the absurd side but hey it really adds something to the mix.
Then there’s Ms. Porter and all her machinations both previously and in this issue start coming faster to the forefront.
This really is one of the most interesting, well written, drawn and thought out series out today. It’s such an emotional roller coaster filled with acts that chill you to the bone and leave you breathless and wanting more. Archies scores a perfect 10 with this series!