For whatever reason, the creative forces behind the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series are bound and determined to drag out its current story arc for as long as humanly possible, by way of both origin-story detours (see Issue #6; basically they created a diversion by putting all Salem’s business out in the street) and waiting an ENTIRE YEARRRR between issues. (Do you feel my fangirl angst here?) All bitching aside, I truly love this series; it embodies everything a horror comic should be, straight from the blackest corner of the Archie-verse.
In its much-anticipated seventh installment, Sabrina checks in at the Kinkle home, where Sabrina’s long-lost (so to speak) father Edward Spellman–in the physical form of his daughter’s mortal love interest, Harvey Kinkle–has dispensed (so to speak) with Harvey’s father. Before feasting upon the hapless Mrs. Kinkle, something compels Edward to share his story with his captive audience. YES FOLKS, WE WAITED AN ENTIRE YEAR FOR THE SECOND ORIGIN-STORY ISSUE IN A ROW. Sigh.
Do I, as a faithful reader, think this is brutal on the part of the creators? Of course! I’m shaking my fist at that scoundrel Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa! (Ohhh, youuuu!) But hey, the good news is, it’s a new issue of fucking Sabrina; when is that ever NOT a rock-solid good time? Young Edward’s journey from prodigious young conjurer to fallen priest of the Church of Night is relayed with all of the conviction and aplomb fans have come to expect of writer Aguirre-Sacasa. The Archie stalwart and his artist and co-creator, the incomparable Robert Hack, seems once again to have a firm grasp on what Archie Horror fans–and general fans of horror–expect in a comic; the duo seems determined to make each new issue worth the long (long, long) wait, going darker and more gory with every step closer to the series’ climax.
One quality in particular that makes this series so addictive and entertaining is its reverence for the horror canon, entertaining more than a few nods in this latest issue. Aguirre-Sacasa hints at the existence of a sort of horror multiverse, and apparently one where The Munsters (evident in young Edward Spellman’s uncanny resemblance to the iconic Eddie Munster) relates to Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Castevet’s fallen father Steven Marcato makes a brief cameo, while the Church of Night’s Fr. Constant appears to be drawn as actor Sidney Blackmer), and nobody bats an eye (including me. ESPECIALLY me. Give me your tired, your poor, your horrorverse cross-pollination yearning to breathe free…)
So I’m sorry, as much as I wanna be mad at Sabrina for making me wait a whole year, for doing two origin issues in a row, for basically psyching us readers out by picking up at a cliffhanger it then used as a wraparound story to leave us in EVEN MORE suspense…these creators know what they’re doing and they do it very well. And I hope they keep doing it well…and maybe do it well two or three more times this year at least…(please?)