This graphic novel depicts the family history and childhood of Sabrina. Orphaned at a young age, she lives with her two aunts (members of her father’s coven). As Sabrina enters high school, she uses her magic to attract a boyfriend. She then must choose between a “normal” life as a mortal witch or to “cast off the mortal coil” and fully embrace the occult. Meanwhile, “Madame Satan,” a witch spurned by Sabrina’s father, returns from hell (with the accidental assistance of Betty and Veronica from the Archie series) and plots a twisted revenge against Sabrina and her family.
My prior knowledge of Sabrina stems from the 1990s TV show staring Melissa Joan Hart, and I really liked Volume 1 of the Archie “New Riverdale” comic series, so I expected a similar modern reboot of the Sabrina story. In reality, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 1” plays more like a 1960s horror film (think The Exorcist, Evil Dead, The Omen) replete with satanic rituals and gratuitous gore. While many of the characters carried over from the TV show, this book presents a much much darker version of the story. It seems Sabrina is a powerless pawn in the grasp of “Madame Satan,” and while I liked the various literary allusions, I did not like this book. Both disturbing and disappointing for me, fans of classic horror movies may enjoy reading this dark reimagining of Sabrina.
Rating: 1 star
Recommendations: Archie: The New Riverdale, Ms. Marvel