The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 8 Highlights “Teenage” and “Witch” in Equal Measure

by Drew Baumgartner

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 8

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Teenagers are exhausting to argue with. The reasons for this are both biological (an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex soaking in teenage hormones isn’t the best recipe for critical reasoning) and psychological (the complex mix of rebellion and conformity that makes up the teenage psyche makes acquiescing to even the most persuasive argument difficult), but anyone who has ever had to tell a teen “no” will have a much more practical understanding. Lacking the perspective of a longer, more worldly life, teens tend to be over-invested in everything from romantic relationships to whether or not they can borrow the family car, so everything feels like the end of the world. That means teens don’t have a lot of headroom for when something is actually a big deal, so can come off as almost blasé on matters of life and death even as they might throw a tantrum about having to mow the lawn. This is exactly the situation in which Hilda and Zelda find themselves in this issue as they try (and fail) to make a love-drunk Sabrina see just how reckless she’s being.

Actually, Ambrose and Salem try to intercede first, but Sabrina is having none of it — she’s sneaking out to meet up with her dead boyfriend, and there’s nothing they can do to stop her. Only, you know, she’s not actually meeting up with her dead boyfriend, but her father wearing a dead boyfriend suit. In true Chilling Adventures form, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack walk us right up to the ick factor here, teasing an incestuous love scene that thankfully never comes, but leaving just enough of the image in our minds to truly disturb us. It made my skin crawl more than all of the half-eaten faces in this series, combined.

It’s when Sabrina’s aunts arrive that things veer quickly back into relatable territory. Sabrina snuck out to do something dangerous with her boyfriend, and her guardians are here to stop her. Sure, there’s all kinds of supernatural mumbo jumbo on top of that basic narrative, but anyone who was a teen (or has looked after teens, or read or watched literally any story about teens) will recognize what’s going on here. Eventually, Sabrina’s stubbornness wears Hilda and Zelda down, and they opt for the “let’s just see how well this plan works out for you” brand of teaching, albeit with a healthy sense of foreboding:

...you must answer for.

Of course, we know how damning answering for Edwards actions may end up being, but for now, Sabrina just thinks she’s brought back Harvey from the dead. Then again, as Ambrose points out, even that has some rather serious costs associated with it, too. Maybe Sabrina should have listened to her aunts, after all.

For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to Comixology and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?

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