• Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, The #5



    Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, The #5
    Released by: Archie Comics
    Released on: May 18th, 2016.
    Written by: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
    Illustrated by: Robert Hack
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    When we last left Sabrina Spellman (almost a year ago) things were not going so well for the teenaged witch. Madame Satan, posing as high school teacher Ms. Porter, told Sabrina’s boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle, about her pending baptism and acceptance into the Church Of The Night. He tried to put a stop to it, only to pay the ultimate price for his bravery. Sabrina will do anything she can to be with the man she loves again, but before she can get to that, she’ll have to deal with the punishment that will be doled out to her by the Witches Council.

    At Riverdale High, Betty, Veronica and their friend and fellow cheerleader Nancy practice their lines as the witches in MacBeth. Mrs. Lovett praises Betty and Veronica but not Nancy, causing the girls to suggest amongst themselves that she might be racist. They then note that black people aren’t the only citizens of Riverdale treated poorly – witches are also treated as second class citizens. Nancy tells the others that witches aren’t real but Betty and Veronica invite her to join them at Miss Grundy’s after school club, the one where they go out into the woods where they learn about “true, ancient power.” Nancy declines and heads off to meet her church group, after which Madame Satan appears to Betty and Veronica and takes them off to Greendale to see that Sabrina is put on trial.

    At the Witches Council, we see through a flashback how Edward Spellman, Sabrina’s father, broke protocol and we also learn what happened to him when he told them he intended to marry a mortal and how he nearly had to conjure the Dark Lord himself to get them to grand him the permission he wanted. Sabrina swears that she didn’t know Harvey was going to arrive when and where he did, though Father Crowley and the rest of the council members remain suspicious and insist that she pass some unorthodox tests. Sabrina agrees, and she passes, but not without an unusual cost to a few other characters.

    Cleared of any wrongdoing, Sabrina heads home to go to be for the night, only to be paid a visit by Madame Satan posing as Ms. Porter. Together they fly out to the woods to meet Betty and Veronica so that they may go about the necromantic rites and bring Harvey back from the grave…

    Well, it took a long time to get here but this latest issue does a damn fine job of continuing down the dark road established in the first four chapters of this series. There is a bit of humor here but for the most part, it’s played completely straight and the last few pages are as intense as they are surprising. The ending leaves us wanting more, as a good ending should, but it doesn’t feel gimmicky, rather, it suits what came before it. Looking back on it, there were clues laid out all along. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has done a good job not only of coming up with some chilling, even disturbing, scenarios in this issue but in building character as well. There’s a lot more depth here than you might expect if you haven’t checked this series out yet, it’s definitely playing towards a more mature audience. Robert Hack’s artwork is as beautiful as it’s been from the start. There’s great detail here to bring the very distinct panel layouts to life. The scenes involving fast movement, such as the dance around the candles in the forest, feel very fluid in how they’re drawn and his use of color, often subdued and heavy on earth tones rather than bright primaries, suits the sinister atmosphere of the story perfectly.

    This issue also contains a few preview pages for the highly anticipated 9th issue of Afterlife With Archie, due out on the first of June.