Day #188: Afterlife With Archie & Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Archie Comics)

[Roberto Aguirre-SacasaFrancesco Francavilla]

Synopsis:

After a spell to bring Jughead’s dog back to life goes awry, zombies are unleashed on the town of Riverdale. Those left must flee for their lives as the zombies spread.

 

[Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa | Robert Hack]

Synopsis:

[From Archie Comics:] Terror is born anew in this dark reimagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s origin. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey.

My take:

First, a couple of notes:

1. I cannot for the life of my work out if Sabrina is still ongoing. I believe it is, since I can’t find anything to the contrary, but it also seems like a long time since the first issue came out.

2. To an extent, I’m doing a disservice by lumping Sabrina in with Afterlife with Archie, but given 1., and the fact that the worlds of the two comics are intertwined, here we are.

With those points out of the way…

Reading both of these series (as they currently stand, anyway) was super strange for me. Before this, I only knew of Archie in the way that someone knows about things that are so much a part of popular culture that the basics somehow seep through the ether and into your brain. I knew the names Archie, Jughead and Moose, and I knew that Betty and Veronica both wanted to be with Archie (if not why). I knew what they looked like; and I knew that at some point they’d introduced a gay character – and maybe turned a couple of other characters gay, too(?). That’s about it.

As far as Sabrina the Teenage Witch is concerned, this was my Sabrina:

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH

So, I wasn’t prepared for broken families, incestuous undertones, and sociopathic overtones in the former; or evil aunts and, well, pretty much evil everyone in the latter. NOPE. Wasn’t prepared at all.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, though.

In fact, I think both series are pretty great, both for what they’ve offered up so far, and – particularly in the case of Sabrina – what they have to offer in the future (err, if there is one).

Although some of the dynamics in Archie thoroughly confuse me (WHY ARE BETTY AND VERONICA FRIENDS!?), I don’t feel like I’ve really missed out on so much that I can’t enjoy the story as a stand-alone zombie series with some vaguely familiar characters. And Sabrina seems to be going out of its way to be a retcon of her story anyway, so it wouldn’t really matter if I knew about the non-Melissa Joan Hart version of the character. Which is great, because I really don’t.

I have no interest whatsoever in any other Archie Comic products, but these? These I want more of.

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