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Sabrina #1 Review

"Something Wickedly Good"
Archie Comics knows no bounds when it comes to making big strides in their demographic. Once known for their sugary sweet and very iconic main styles, the publisher has gone off the rails, in a good way. Their attempts at creating their horror niche come to frightfully good fruition with: Sabrina #1.  

Sabrina's Birthday

  Re-imagining the iconic teenage witch and her world as something more Rosemary's Baby than Happy Days, this was the publisher's second attempt at a horror focused revision. After the success and acclaim of Afterlife with Archie, busting something out with Sabrina seemed like a no brainier. Keeping it set in the 60's, however? A stroke of genius. This is what I think sets it apart from Afterlife, and bring it to an even more devilishly enjoyable level. The fact that it's not frightened of the contrast. Afterlife, which I enjoy, seemed too worried about not beings modern at points. Took me out as a reader. There is no such worries here. In fact, quite the opposite. Sabrina seems very content about playing up the cheery exterior.  

Sabrina's Parents

  It is a potent combo that makes the scares in the issue all the more powerful. The imagery in this debut is most definitely the strong suit. The art by Robert Hack is the perfect balance of rough yet eerie. It may put off a few with the messy nature, but it conveys a magnificent sense of otherworldliness. The content of the imagery is in itself at times disturbing, while the titular heroine can keep it sweet. A sentence that I never thought I would use to describe and Archie brand comic. It's a nicely succinct issue as well. Not too decompressed and it actually feels like it has some meat between its front and back covers. It doesn't waste time dragging things out and gives the reader a whole recap of the main character's life.  

Sabrina's Powers

  It would almost have been cozy were it not for the actual set pieces, so kudos to writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. If I had to point out any flaws it would be that it's a series that is somewhat too reference happy. This is something that I noticed in early Afterlife issues as well, that both series really love to drop names. It's not a problem per se, but it can stick out. Overall this was a superb issue and one that I will be keeping a tab on. Comments and thoughts would be appreciated below.
  • The art creates an eerie and spooky mood
  • The set-pieces are disturbingly fun and frightening
  • The series is not ashamed of keeping it light when needed
  • The art can be too rough at times
  • Slightly too reference happy


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