Four Letter Nerd

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.

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Stephen Andrew

Stephen has spent most of his life reading comics, watching horror movies, listening to death metal music, and speaking in the third person. His favorite comic book character is The Punisher, and he believes that the Punisher: War Zone movie is criminally underrated. His favorite film of all-time is National Lampoon's Vacation, and his favorite album is Pantera's "The Great Southern Trendkill".

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