by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack
It’s been a long wait, but Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #5 is finally here! Nearly ten months is a long time to wait between issues, but Sabrina promises to make it worthwhile.
With such a long gap, it’s a good idea to go back and at least read issue #4 again to remember what happened last (if not the entire series so far). It won’t be a waste of time – Sabrina is a phenomenal series! So far the story has covered Sabrina’s history, as well as her father’s, and Sabrina has been baptized as a witch and lost her boyfriend Harvey thanks to a former love of her father’s, who’s come back for revenge. Betty and Veronica have come into the story as well, in the form of witches from another town.
So after all that, and a long wait, this issue has to be incredible. And, as always, it is. The story movers forward (after a bit of background story from previous issues) and it’s nothing short of shocking. Sabrina has teamed up with the evil witch who used to be her father’s lover – Sabrina doesn’t know who she is, as she is disguised as her teacher – as well as Betty and Veronica. She’s facing the court, to prove that she did not know Harvey was going to be present at her baptism.
The dialogue is particularly fantastic, and really reflects on current issues in real life. There’s racism, bigotry… all in the witch community. Who knew? Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa really hit the nail on the head. And not only are there real-life problems here, there is also a brilliant reflection on Shakespeare, which is utterly perfect. While the Riverdale kids are performing Hamlet, the story goes right alongside that and fits just right.
Of course, the art is perfect. It’s dark, scary, and feels thoroughly “1970’s cult horror movie”, which of course fits this book perfectly. Nothing is too detailed, but it’s just enough to know what’s going on, and add to the creepy feel too. Each panel is like a little work of art. It’s like Robert Hack went in and put impossible hours into painting literally every facet; the visible brush strokes and everything add a ton of texture, and it’s just beautiful. Sabrina is a little bit gory without being over the top – there’s blood and skeleton faces and all kinds of things, but it’s still just beautiful art that will make the reader cringe just a little tiny bit (in the best way possible, of course).
And on the subject of cringing – the end of the issue is really a surprise! You won’t really see it coming, and it leaves you already anxious for the next issue.
The only negative thing I could ever say about this book is that the wait between issues is almost unbearable! It’s hard to wait for the next part of such a great series, but at the same time it’s forgivable because it’s clear that the creators have put their hearts and souls into every little bit. It’s a stunning book every time, and it’s well worth the wait.