It’s time to return to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina with the latest issue! What new fun/hell/horror awaits our protagonist? Is it good?
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #4 (Archie Comics)
The latest issue of Sabrina is yet another mixed bag in terms of quality. Story-wise, it follows up on the events of last time after Harvey discovered the witches’ little coven and after the effects of his “disappearance” that followed. There isn’t much else beyond that, mostly repeatedly beating into you Sabrina’s guilt and depression for most of the issue over and over (heck, it repeats her reflecting on the lives the two could have twice within the span of two pages). It does help make her possible decision based on the cliffhanger more believable, but it gets tiring fast when the comic’s narration repeats the same beat and says the same thing over and over again. Other than that and one completely superfluous scene towards the beginning about the time Harvey as a kid found some porno mags, the story for most of the issue felt drawn out and only really started getting interesting towards the end.
The writing is alright and fares better than the story and storytelling. The character work remains limited with only Sabrina getting any form of development, growth, or characterization for the issue (everyone else is just a jerk). We get to see her depression over the incident with the witches and Harvey, seeing how much he really mattered to her, and why she may be making a dark decision next issue. The only problem with her characterization is the narration; it constantly tells us what we already know and could easily just pipe down and let the art tell us what we need to know. The dialogue is decent and gets the job done, while the narration is just overdone a lot of the time. The pacing is good and there’s no issue with the story structure, so nothing feels awkward with the transitioning and presentation. Finally, the horror theme and elements are still underwhelming and not all that chilling or creepy. However, the issue is a tad better than the last since there is some tension early on with Harvey trying to escape from the witches and running into “Sabrina” again.
The artwork is still probably the strongest thing the comic has going for it and even feels like a step up from the last issue in some ways. It still has that problem of not creating a unique atmosphere with the colors or scenery (everything always looks the same in terms of time and place), but things are better. The layouts and panels flow better, the characters look decent and show a better range with their expressions, and some things genuinely look creepy and not unintentionally so. It’s a much easier and more engaging read this time around thanks to the artwork.
Is It Good?
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #4 still leaves a lot to be desired. The story is weak and dragged out, the characterization has been lacking for most of the cast, the horror is underwhelming, and the quality of the comic seems to be going up and down a lot of the time. I still can’t recommend this comic at this point. There are just better horror series out there.