I’ve been with ComiXology Unlimited pretty much since they started the unlimited program. It really isn’t all that old yet (I don’t even think a year yet). So when this month’s comics came in, I didn’t quite figure out the reason for the theme right away.
We’re in October right? So, the be all end all of the month is Halloween on the 31st. It makes pretty much perfect sense that all the incoming comics this month are horror or monster related. What better time to do it right? Unless you enjoy that stuff year round so it is never enough. Which brings us to what I have been delving into the past couple days.
See, Archie Comics have been messing around over the past few years or so with some different themes for their classic characters. They have even set up a few horror comics that tell the stories we know and love in a completely different light. I’ve been digging into the Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Archie Horror 2016) horror line. To differentiate this line from the original they list it as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
The thing I love about this, all the stuff you remember from the original story is in there. It all takes place in the 50s and 60s and the basic story is still the one we have known. But there are some changes that take it to a darker level.
To put it into perspective, Zelda and Hilda are cannibals, and spend quite a bit of time talking about preparing their next meal. It helps that the house they move into in Greendale is a mortuary next to a cemetery. That alone is fun and a bit horroresque, but what really pulled me into the whole concept was the explanation of Sabrina’s parents being out of the picture.
In every iteration I have experienced of this story, Sabrina has always been with her aunts. There have been different reasons for her parents to be out of the picture (usually revolving around something mundane). But in this storyline we follow a fun trip down the rabbit hole. See, her mother is a mortal and her father is a warlock. Not really a change from any other storyline. But here the father chose the mortal specifically to bear his child. He had been with a witch prior to Sabrina’s mother but he hadn’t wanted her to produce his offspring.
After Sabrina is born, her mother attempts to save her from the hellish life in the service of evil to her undoing. Sabrina’s father and aunts stop her and collecting his child. He then has her mother lobotomized and shoved into an insane asylum. But that only gets one parent out of the picture. The witch’s council then punishes him for marrying a mortal by turning him into a tree. So alright, the parents are gone.
Within the stories there is some comical horror to mesh with the pure evil of it all. Kinda puts you in a position where you really just don’t know who you want to root for because they all fall into various shades of evil. Yeah, I can dig it.
If you get a chance to check it out, it’s worth the time. I have enjoyed the touches of nostalgia form the original storylines as well as the darker moments that bring it into the realm of horror it probably should have been in all along. That more than anything else is probably the most important part of a series like this. Back when Sabrina and Archie first came out, the comics code would never have let a storyline like this exist. We have a bit more freedom in our comics than we used to have.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.