There is a warning to never go into Greendale woods, especially in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, after dark. In the distance, there is a fire burning and your curiosity gets you closer to where women are all together chanting. They spot you and one blonde girl tells you to run. This is the beginning of a chilling adventure a reader will have with Sabrina. Fifty-six years ago the world was introduced to Sabrina Spellman, a modern witch who cast a spell on Archie Comics.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch debuted in October 1962 and since then she’s become a pop culture icon. She has starred in numerous comics and many TV shows to date. Her character has always been portrayed as the ‘good witch next door.’ Then, writer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and illustrator Robert Hack did something with the character that was completely unheard of. Aguirre-Sacasa debuted a new series titled Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Where he transferred this magical girl into a world of darkness and satanic rituals. A world completely unseen in the world of Archie Comics. Since this was a new version of the character only time would tell if the series would work and surprisingly it worked remarkably well. It worked so well that there is even a new show coming to Netflix based on the chilling series.
To get ready for the Netflix series debut, this would be the perfect time to look at this wicked comic series. Time to grab your familiar and let’s transport into the world of Sabrina Spellman in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Who Is Sabrina Spellman, The Teenage Witch?
Before the review, it would be best to look at Sabrina as a character. When Sabrina first appeared she explained a lot about witches. She begins to state rules witches had such as:they can’t sink in water, cry or fall in love. They have a head witch named Della who makes Sabrina do hexes to pupils at her high school. She lives with her two aunts Hilda and Zelda and also her familiar/pet cat, Salem. Salem, as a familiar, does many small tasks for Sabrina. She has an older cousin named Ambrose The warlock.
After her debut, all her comics focused on spells, tricks, hexes, love, and the mishaps that occur with and while using witchcraft. It wasn’t until much later that she became a great friend to the teens of Riverdale. Since then and in every interpretation of the character, she is continuously portrayed as a witch that tries to be a great spellcaster by only using her spells for good. Even when Archie Comics created a Horror universe (ARCHIE HORROR) Sabrina was shown having good intentions using her magic. In the series Afterlife With Archie, her good intentions create a zombie apocalypse. That was great for readers but horrible for Riverdale residents.
The Plot Of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
This story begins in 1951, with Sabrina’s father Edward Spellman meeting with a witch coven. He is confronting them over the inappropriate actions he partook in by marrying a mortal woman and having a baby with her. After a horrific attack placed on Sabrina’s mother by the coven, there is a time-jump to show Sabrina’s childhood with her aunts.
She meets her cousin Ambrose, her familiar Salem, her friend Rosalind and the future love of her life, Harvey. As life as a witch looks easy for Sabrina, something wicked this way comes. Two teens from Riverdale summon a creature from the depths of hell. And, good gosh, this is only book one and from here Sabrina’s life will never be the same.
There is magic, betrayal, love, loss, and demons. Through these eight issues, readers receive not only Sabrina’s backstory but many other characters’ stories as well and they are very dark interpretations. I urge readers to read the first volume of this story; you will not regret it. It is also the perfect read to get into the Halloween spirit.
Watch Out For Spoilers For Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Now, the next portion will be spoiler-filled, if you would like to know everything about everything Chilling Adventures of Sabrina it will be summarized in the forthcoming paragraphs.
If you want to read the story for yourself skip to the next section.
Now, Witches and Warlocks are the short versions of what happens in this book. Edward decides to put a spell on Sabrina’s mother instead of killing her as the coven suggested. However, she is later killed by his sister Hilda and Zelda for lying to the coven about the past events. After a few years, Sabrina is living a wonderful life, that is until Betty and Veronica from Riverdale summon a witch from Hell called, Iona.
Readers find out she was the ex-girlfriend of Edward that killed herself and now she wants revenge on Sabrina. On Sabrina’s sixteenth birthday, she is about to sign her life to the devil when out of nowhere Harvey appears. Little did she know Iona told Harvey to go and see in Sabrina in the woods that night. Just then the coven attacks to kill Harvey and succeed.
The Proceeding Events That Transpire
Iona later finds Sabrina dropping her brave facade in a school bathroom and offers help to bring Harvey back. She takes the offer and with both Betty and Veronica they do a ritual. Sabrina is told to wait three days for the spell to work. After waiting for three days, across town Harvey is coming back to life. He heads home to his distraught parents where he announces he’s actually Edward Spellman.
After he ties up Harvey’s mother and calls Sabrina as Harvey, Sabrina decides to go meet him and have dinner. Edward tries to act like Harvey until Sabrina’s aunts appear and demand Harvey to be killed again. A lovesick Sabrina fights her aunts and they leave her be. When she is home she is then told by her cousin and Salem that for Harvey to stay alive she needs to kill someone. A soul for a soul.
A Great Reboot
It is very rare when someone can create a new version of a beloved character and make it work. With reboots and re-imaginings many get skeptical seeing their favorite characters done differently. As this series was both a reboot and reimagining, with that comes some drawbacks. Surrounding such a light-hearted character in a world of darkness is a hard pill to swallow, but in actuality, it works perfectly.
Sabrina is a good-hearted witch that tries to help everyone. In the light-hearted world of Archie Comics, she works flawlessly because all of her problems work out in the end. In this series, though, there are many consequences if a witch uses her powers inappropriately. This story shows all of the effects and problems witchcraft causes. It’s a very dark world that readers can get lost in, and, in turn, want to see more of.
Become Immersed In This Elegant World
As this series is sadly only eight issues, Aguirre-Sacasa built an amazing world of black magic. The writing in this book is wonderfully done and takes the reader on a desolate ride through a teenage witches life. From the first issue, readers are taken immediately into a world with no warning of how bleak this world of witches is. The story follows Sabrina as she tries to follow her family’s traditions, but also rebel to be with the love of her life.
This constant struggle to choose between worlds doesn’t end well for anyone in the end… well so far. This story ends on such a cliffhanger that makes everyone want to read what happens next. As stated earlier, eight issues were made and issue nine is currently in limbo. Hopefully, soon everyone can find out what is going to happen with the information given to her.
Throughout this story, there are wonderful callbacks and references. First, the art in this series is astonishing. Everything looks nostalgic and every panel looks hand painted. In the book, there are wonderful nods to literature and television shows. Salem reveals his backstory is set in Salem, Massachusetts where he is friends with Abigail and John Proctor from The Crucible. Also when Edward Spellman is a boy he looks like a certain werewolf boy from The Munsters.
It was a wonderful surprise that Betty and Veronica are apart of this series. They are actually witches in training in Ms. Grundys’ coven. There are also fantastic callbacks to former Archie Comics; there is a classic panel with Betty, Veronica, and Archie drinking the same milkshake.
The reference, the beats, everything though, is a premonition or memory Sabrina has where she met Jughead for the first time. There is a flash of Jughead as a zombie and her as a queen. It’s a perfect panel for fans of the ARCHIE HORROR line, but this does lead to questions such as: what does that flashback even mean in this story?
A Chilling New Netflix Series
Just recently, a new full trailer of the Netflix series based on the comic was released and many people went head over heels for it. It looks like they are taking elements from both iterations of Sabrina. They are mixing dark and light elements of the character and it looks like its working.
As the comics storyline is interesting – this reimagining is working excellently. It looks like they may step away from the Edward Spellman plot, which is probably a grand idea. It’s a great story for comics, but I don’t think general audiences are up for that just yet. Also, Harvey and Sabrina could be an adorable couple for a longer period of time. There are high hopes for this amazing new television series.
Last Thoughts On Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
In the end, this is a wonderful series to read – not just for Halloween – but to get you ready for the Netflix series as well. This comic series has something for everyone. If you are looking for a great re-imaging of a character try this one. The writing and art are phenomenal. There is only one problem with the series, there are two whole issues dedicated to characters backstories.
Even though it’s great to see the past, I would have preferred them as one-shots. Issue’s six and seven just stop the main story from moving forward and they also end with the last panel from issue five. This is my only dislike of an otherwise incredible series. I just hope we could get closer with the series, fans need answers. If you are looking for a chilling tale of witches, demons, spells, and resurrection; join the Greendale witches coven.