Four Letter Nerd

Tag - Robert Hack

4LN Comic Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #4

Series: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artwork: Robert Hack
Page Count: 35
Price: $3.99

DIG030035_2

Summary from Comixology: “There are some things in this world that mortal eyes should never witness — that’s a lesson poor HARVEY KINKLE will learn the hard way, when he makes the unfortunate mistake of intruding on the darkest of ceremonies — an offense that the witches’ coven takes very seriously… Though HARVEY’s life hangs in the balance, it is the SPELLMAN family that will come face-to-face with TRUE EVIL. Indeed, the choices made by teen-witch-in-training SABRINA on this dread night will determine the fate of every living soul in Greendale…”

Whenever this book is in my box, I become extremely excited, and I never thought I would ever say that about a Sabrina book. But this is, hands down, one of the best books coming out. My pull consists of Marvel, DC, Image, and Archie. Out of all four publications, this book is easily my second favorite being published (Batman has the first spot). What’s great about this series is, the first issue came out last October, and each issue has been just as good (if not better than) the previous issues. We are only four issue into the series, and it’s been longer than four months, so the release schedule is a little wack. (But, luckily, it’s not as bad as Hawkeye was, and hopefully it never will be.) The writer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, is the Chief Creative Officer at Archie Comics, so that explains why the book comes out so sporadically. I can imagine being the CCO for Archie Comics doesn’t leave a lot of time to write. But, when he does find the time, he knocks it out of the park and every issue feels like a grand slam.

02dc0a4c969898898f5dd3d5013bea52

The feel of the book is very much classic horror, with a bit of disturbing content thrown in for fun. I am not a fan of horror but I’ve been on a witches kick lately (Salem, Wytches, and Sabrina), so who knows, maybe witches will become the new vampires. (I for one welcome our new witch overlords.) I mention “classic horror” because Robert Hack does an AMAZING job capturing the feel of the 1960’s and giving it a solid horror twist. The book opens with Sabrina’s love Harvey Kinkle running in the woods, as he is chased by the Coven. There were a few really eerie moments in this book that left me a little uncomfortable. Besides the momentary discomfort cause by general creepiness, we also get a glimpse into what could have been, which makes the story even more painful. It’s not all bad however. We get a guess appearance from Riverdale High School, which includes Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead. Although, Betty and Veronica are the only ones who the issue focuses in on. We also get a nice throwback to issue #1, that answers a couple questions.

If you haven’t been reading Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, you’re really missing out. If you are a fan of horror, this is a book you MUST read. It will not let you down, and it will leave you on the edge of your seat. Sabrina faces some of the most challenging moments during her ceremony with the Dark Lord, she witnesses scenes that will haunt her to the core, and she will have to lie for the rest of her life to protect the ones she loves. The outcome of said events will determine the fate of every living soul in Greendale, so this is not a comic you want to sit on. Hurry and run to your local comic shop and get all four issues of Sabrina before it’s too late!

Music Paring:
For this issue, I can’t think of anyone better than Alkaline Trio to completely capture the feel and tone of this book. Pop-Punk with a dash of emo, and horror themes makes them perfect for the soundtrack to this book. Jam the song You’re Dead while you read.

4LN Comic Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2

Series: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Robert Hack

DIG027033_2

Summary from Comixology: “On the eve of Sabrina’s sixteenth birthday, she faces a choice that will determine her destiny as a half-witch/half-mortal, an unspeakable terror arrives in Greendale, and her name is… MADAM SATAN! At long last, the secret history of the Queen of Hell is revealed, and she sets her vengeful gaze upon the SPELLMAN family. No one, especially those close to Sabrina, is safe, and very, very soon, the quiet streets of Greendale will run red with blood…”

Overview:
I was REALLY excited to see this book on the shelf when I hit up my LCS this morning to get my books. I was actually a little caught off guard when I saw the book. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1  came out the first part of October, and we are just now getting issue #2. I at first thought that this was a reprint, or my shop finally got more copies in. I was really surprised that it’s been so long since the first issue came out, but I am super glad I picked up the second issue. It was creepy as hell. And that’s an understatement.

Highs:
As I said, this book was creepy as hell. It is not the Archie/Sabrina book you remember. There were a lot of things that really caught me off guard, I wasn’t expecting so much nudity. The first page has a women buttocks in 3 panels, and shows her breast, with hair covering the nipples. Now, this sounds explicit, but it adds to the story and this is not used to sexualize the women, but rather show her as a raw evil beast, since she is Madam Satan. This issue isn’t as much about Sabrina, but rather Madam Satan, Sabrina’s fathers previous lover. At one point a character is graphically ripped apart by lions and later scene hanging from chains “… in that particular circle of hell reserved for suicides…” I was very surprised to see that book, as graphic as it is, was rated Teen+. I have seen Punisher MAX comics less graphic then this book was.

46ce5afd3f0802deb8c4318c71020736

Lows:
The art work by Robert Hack is great, and I also find it funny someone with the last name Hack is working on a horror book. As great as his art was, there are a couple panels on the page where the characters look to have “derp face” and/or cross-eyed. It was a bit distracting to see a horror story where the characters faces are so unique. With Madam Satan, it makes sense for her eyes to be messed up since her face is ripped off, but other characters such as Sabrina and Diana’s eyes are a bit wild. The only other “low” I can think of is, the book has one hell of a whack release schedule. Issue #1 came out in October of 2014, and issue #2 came out April of 2015. Is this a bi-annual book, or just released when it’s ready? (If anyone knows, please comment below and we’ll update with a release schedule for the book.)

The Final Say:
This IS a book you want to be reading. It’s full of horror and graphic images. It’ll make your skin crawl, and it will leave you waiting and wanting more. It’s a solid 4 out of 5 so you really need to go out and pick up issue #1 (If you can find it!) and issue #2, because you will not want to sleep on this title.

Music Pairing:
Madam Hell is pissed and hated/hates life because of what Edward has done to her. She wants to make the world suffer. She wants to make Sabrina and company suffer. Madam Hell has the mentality of “Fuck this life,” so that’s why its the perfect read for the crust punk band Young And In The Way. Specifically their opener for their latest album When Life Comes To Death, feel evil and jam “Fuck This Life” while you read this book.

 

4LN Comic Review – Sabrina #1

Book – Sabrina #1
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by Robert Hack & Jack Morelli

Summary from Comixology: “NEW ONGOING SERIES! Terror is born anew in this dark re-imagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s origin. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family’s past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda. Archie Comic’s latest horror sensation starts here! For TEEN+ readers.”

Sabrina #1

Overview –
I’m not what you would call an “Archie Reader”. The most Archie Comics have ever really been a part of my life are when I would watch the New Archies cartoon as a kid in the early 90’s. Archie was just never really my thing.

Last year, Archie Comics launched the new horror series “Afterlife  With Archie”, to much critical acclaim. The concept intrigued me, but I still just kind of blew it off because I was already reading so many other titles and I just wasn’t all that interested. I suppose I was thinking that it would be watered-down horror. Well, last week this Sabrina #1 dropped and my comic shop guy (Steve from Comic Collector Live: the store) tried to get me to pick it up. I resisted because again, I just didn’t care. Then Bill, from right here at 4LN, told me that it was really good. I finally tossed my skepticism aside and picked it up… and, wow, it’s fantastic!

click for super-sized previews of Sabrina #1

The Good –
The only other books by Sabrina writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who also writes “Afterlife  With Archie”, that I’ve read are his Dead of Night: Man-Thing (for Marvel’s MAX imprint), and his graphic novel adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand. Those are both great. But now I really want to go back and catch up on “Afterlife…” because *hot damn* Sabrina was good! Sabrina #1 is the best horror comic I’ve read in a while. I know a lot of people are raving about Wytches right now, and that book did have a great first issue, but Sabrina was just so surprisingly dark and bizarre. There were moments that I was genuinely creeped out and had goosebumps. I feel like Roberto must’ve done his homework too, because he uses so may legitimate occult references that there’s no way he was just making things up. To me, that is the mark of a great writer.

The art is also a big part of the creepiness. Hack & Morelli do a fantastic job of being visceral, and yet still very detailed. The colors are very autumn-like; there’s lots of orange shades and black. It definitely meshes perfectly with the tone of the comic to help maintain the eeriness.

click for super-sized previews of Sabrina #1

The Bad –
I didn’t feel like anything was bad in the book. This was a solid first issue. Sometimes I make up things to complain about in this section just so it’s not empty, so I’ll do that here.

This book came over to my house and accidentally let my dog out and then never even helped us look for him! We invited Sabrina #1 over for dinner, and when it walked in the door our dog ran out and took off up the street. My wife and I, and our three kids, took off after him in hot pursuit. Once we caught him, we returned home to discover Sabrina #1 was on it’s SECOND bowl of chili, and had eaten our entire bag of Fritos! Moral of the story: enjoy reading Sabrina #1, but DO NOT invite it over for chili.

click for super-sized previews of Sabrina #1

The Final Say –
For those if you who remember the “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” series… Even thought those weren’t comics, reading Sabrina #1 almost kind of made me feel like I did when I was a kid and would read those books with a flashlight in my bedroom on a dark and stormy night (I’m kind of a walking cliché). It is a legitimately frightening comic. I give it a 4 out of 4. If you like horror comics, you do not want to miss out on this book. If your local shop has a copy, take it from a former skeptic, BUY IT. It’s absolutely worth it.