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The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2 Review

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2 Review

It’s been roughly seven months since The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1 hit stands, which is quite an uncommon length of time between issues for a brand-new series. And since the series is written by the amazing Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa of Afterlife With Archie fame, that wait has been excruciating for horror fans. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2 is thankfully very much worth the wait, focusing almost entirely on the sinister Madam Satan, and her past relationship with Sabrina’s father (which turns very dark, very quickly).

Throughout Sabrina #2, we get a look into the morbid past of Madam Satan, showing how she was scorned by her lover and fellow witch Edward. The book takes us back to a sunny, romantic day at the zoo, when Iola – who would later become Madam Satan – is rejected by Edward, who plans to leave Iola for Sabrina’s mother. Dejected and angered at this development, she teleports herself inside the lion’s den and is promptly, viciously torn apart by the voracious animals. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Iola’s suicide doesn’t put an end to her misery, but rather prolongs it in a special circle of hell. And when she eventually makes her escape, she’s understandably a bit upset…

We see hints of humanity in Iola, or Madam Satan, when she sympathizes with the souls of women who suffered a cruel fate at the hands of a truck driver (whom she promptly disposes of), or when she hesitates to add even more suffering to Sabrina’s lobotomized mother, who is currently rotting away in an insane asylum. But she quickly lives up to her name when she decides to give this poor soul the “gift” of clarity, so she has to live out her remaining years imprisoned in this hospital, knowing exactly who put her there and why — and that her only daughter is in severe danger. Watching her scream in terror to the doctors and nurses, desperate for their help, only to be promptly sedated was heartbreaking. Oh yeah, Madam Satan also steals a young, innocent girl’s face while she sleeps… Still, she is not just evil for evil’s sake, and at least some of her targets in Sabrina #2 deserve what’s coming to them. It all builds up to a very tense meeting between Sabrina and Madam Satan, after Iola commits some heinous acts to discover her location and get close to the teenage witch.

Hack’s artwork generally shines throughout, with some great use of sepia tones and some super-creepy shots (a faceless Iola chained in a dungeon deep in hell, surrounded by rotting bodies, comes to mind). Overall, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2 is a solid issue that drives the narrative forward, and has me eagerly anticipating the next issue. Hopefully we don’t have to wait another six months this time…

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