This week we enter the spooky world of Archie’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and get a solo Obi-Wan Kenobi tale in Star Wars!
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #4 (Archie Comics)
If you had told me a year ago that one of my favorite comics on the stands would be one starring Sabrina the Teenage Witch, I would’ve laughed in your face. And yet here we are with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #4, a series that I’m unabashedly in love with. Set in the same world as Archie’s Afterlife With Archie series, Sabrina is a much more mature take on the world of the teenage witch. Hell, it’s even more mature than Afterlife, with writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack delivering one of the creepiest comics on the stands.
This issue finds Sabrina searching for her boyfriend Harvey, who’s running through the woods after accidentally coming across the dark ritual that will make Sabrina immortal. Naturally, the other witches aren’t happy that a mortal has stumbled upon their sacred ritual, so they give chase. After escaping from her fellow witches, Sabrina is too late to save Harvey, who’s eaten by one of the witches. Later on, Sabrina’s aunts explain to her that Harvey had to be sacrificed to appease their “dark lord”, who demanded blood for having a human witness him. After days of helping the townspeople search for Harvey’s body, Sabrina eventually succumbs to her grief, only to be found by Madam Satan, who’s been in disguise as the new English teacher at Sabrina’s high school. Sabrina, unaware that Madame Satan has been orchestrating everything against her, agrees to let Madame Satan show her how to save Harvey from the underworld.
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s script is absolutely dynamite. Like Afterlife With Archie, Aguirre-Sacasa nails the tone for this book. In this case, it’s horror movies like Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist and even Halloween. There’s a huge sense of tension and dread on every page, but Aguirre-Sacasa also finds the time to pepper in some really sweet moments as well, like when Sabrina sees the visions of the life she and Harvey were meant to have, or the first time Harvey was running through the woods (a plot point that actually becomes pretty important later on in the issue).
As tension filled as Aguirre-Sacasa’s script is, it’s nothing compared to the terrifying art by Robert Hack. There’s some stuff in here that will definitely keep you up at night. Hack’s one of the Archie Comic staple artists, but what he’s been doing on this series will blow you away. While this issue has some weird panels where characters have some out of nowhere facial expressions, Hack more than makes up for it with the horrifying look of the Witches in their true forms.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a book that has suffered delays, but they aren’t nearly as long as they used to be. This is a series that I tried out with no expectations, and I’m still completely blown away by it. This is a must read for fans of horror. Sure, the name “Sabrina” probably makes you immediately think of the old TGIF line up, but trust me; this book is NOT for kids. It is, however, for people who love getting the crap scared out of them. Buy this book.
Star Wars #7
Marvel’s latest issue of Star Wars takes a breather from the ongoing exploits of Han, Leia, Luke, and Chewie, and instead reveals an entry from the journal of Obi-Wan Kenobi. With guest artist Simone Bianchi, Jason Aaron’s one off tale of the old Jedi Master’s time on Tatooine is surprisingly really good, and stands as yet another strong entry in this incredible series.
Star Wars #7 takes place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and finds Obi-Wan Kenobi living out in the deserts of Tatooine, removed from everyone else on the planet. Kenobi spends his days meditating, wandering the streets of Mos Eisley, and overseeing the child of Anakin Skywalker, Luke. But even though he must hide the fact that he is a Jedi, even Obi-Wan can’t turn a blind eye to the injustices he sees around him on Tatooine, and when Luke goes missing, he has to take it upon himself to find the last hope of the Jedi.
I’m just going to say this right now: get Jason Aaron to script the rumored solo Obi-Wan Kenobi film. Aaron’s script is spot on, and puts Kenobi in a light that we’ve never seen him in the movies: doubtful. This is Ben Kenobi at his lowest point: his order is destroyed, he failed his friend and student, and now he must not only survive on the harshest planet in the galaxy, but ensure that the Jedi Order’s only hope of survival makes it as well. Aaron depicts Obi-Wan as a noble Ronin or gunslinger who refuses to let go until his mission is complete. Not only that, but we also get some awesome scenes of Obi-Wan attempting to learn how to make himself into a force ghost, and his pleas to Qui-Gon Jinn for help are truly heartbreaking.
John Cassaday has moved on from the art duties of Star Wars, but before his replacement, Stuart Immonen, steps up to the bat we’ve got Simone Bianchi penciling this one off tale. I’m not the biggest fan of Bianchi’s style, so I was very hesitant to open this bad boy up, but I have to say, I’m really impressed with what he did this issue. His looser style suits the tone of this story perfectly, and now that I’ve finished the book, I can’t imagine another person drawing this issue.
Star Wars is, simply put, one of the best comics on the stands. If you aren’t reading it you either don’t like Star Wars or don’t like comic books (or you’re just waiting for the trade). From multi-part storylines to one off issues like this one, Jason Aaron shows how much he gets the Star Wars universe, and it’s a blast seeing him add to the mythology. While I went into this issue with low expectations, I was genuinely surprised by how great it was. Honestly, it just might be my favorite issue of the run so far.