Does anyone else remember when this series came out? Back in October 2014, so many months ago? One day Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was there and the next it was gone without a trace.
Now almost half a year later, it has returned with its second issue. Not the best way to start of a series that already needed to pick up the pace. Let’s take a look at how this second issue goes. Is it good?
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2 (Archie Comics)
So after all those months of waiting, it’s time to check back in with what Sabrina is up to, right? WRONG! Our title character is tossed into the background so that we can introduce our villain of the series, Madam Satan (what a name that is). Who’s that? That corpse we saw at the very end of the first issue who is now out for blood.
Okay, so after waiting for almost six months for the next issue, I have to say this was incredibly disappointing. This will probably not be that big of an issue in the trade format, but after waiting so long for the next chapter of the series, it’s frustrating that Sabrina is barely present or even all that notable in her own book. The entire issue is about the introduction to Madam Satan, giving us her backstory and her motivations. That stuff is all fine and paints a good picture of her, but nothing else of significance really happens beyond that. Sadly though, that’s really not the only thing that makes this comic’s return really not worth the wait.
The pacing and narration are irritating as well. This comic has only one speed and that’s fast. It never slows down to let a moment sink in before jumping forward to the next plot point. It makes many scenes difficult to invest in since even writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa doesn’t feel like he’s interested in what’s being written as he’s rushing through different bits. The narration rarely ever takes a break and just goes on and on, describing almost everything happening in the book. It reeks of telling instead of showing a lot of the time, since most of these scenes do not need narration at all and it in fact takes away from anything potentially scary or creepy. For instance, the opening scene with Madam Satan going through the cabin and looking for a face to steal as she sings a creepy song looks terrifying. However, the narration describes her entire thought process and emotion the entire time, detracting from the intrigue and suspense. Horror-wise, the imagery is creepy but the narration and messy structure really cut into anything horror feeling. I want to like this book, but Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa needs to give his narrative some room to breathe.
The artwork is the only thing that isn’t a letdown. Robert Hack does draw some genuinely creepy and terrifying imagery in the book that does work (at least when the narration isn’t too overwhelming). The characters and supernatural elements are drawn very nicely, the coloring really lends the book an atmospheric feel.
Is It Good?
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #2 is a pretty lackluster and very disappointing return for this series after being away for several months. The title characters is barely even in the book, the narration is frustrating, and the storytelling and writing are just not that good at all. Sure, the artwork is nice looking and the backstory for Madam Satan is decent, but everything else about the book is such a letdown. I just cannot recommend this comic at all until it gets better.
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