Sabrina The Teenage Witch Returns To The Apocalyptic Hellscape She Created In ‘Afterlife With Archie’ #6
It’s been pretty well established over the last few decades that when supernatural troubles erupt in Riverdale, Sabrina the Teenage Witch is usually at the center of it. In Afterlife With Archie, however, things have gotten a little more out of hand than they usually do — it turns out that meddling in the incomprehensible forces required to resurrect the dead has far more dire consequences than dosing Harvey with a love potion in an effort to have a nice prom date. Like, say, a full-on zombie apocalypse that’s already claimed a pretty sizable chunk of the Archie cast.
That’s the situation that’s been going on ever since Sabrina used the Necronomicon to bring Hot Dog back to life and got banished to a nightmare hellworld for her troubles. She’s been missing ever since, but in the upcoming Afterlife With Archie #6, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla finally catch up with her. Check out the exclusive reveal of both covers, including a downright Tarot-esque variant from Andrew Pepoy, and a few answers from Sacasa below!
ComicsAlliance: In the first issue, Sabrina gets put out of the way pretty quickly. Why bring her back so soon?
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: Is Issue 6 too soon? I’ve actually been fighting the impulse to cut between Riverdale and where Sabrina is. Partly because we needed to focus on the zombie apocalypse, of course, and partly because we wanted to give Sabrina a big, shocking return when she was re-introduced to the series… Which, hopefully, is what 6 will be. Because believe me, as bad as things have been in Riverdale, they’re much worse for Sabrina. And if the first five issues have been our homage to The Evil Dead, then Issue 6 is our homage to Lovecraft, with a bit of Hellraiser thrown in, for good measure.
CA: A lot of the fun of Afterlife is the contrast between the established cute comedy of the Archie characters and their horrifying situations, but Sabrina’s aunts went straight to full-on terrifying as soon as they show up. Was that just a natural extension of how the story was going to progress, to give it that scary edge early?
RAS: For me, that just happened in the writing. It was the equivalent of a “jump-scare” in horror movies. Unexpected and sudden. And hopefully it gave people a clue: This isn’t just a zombie book, it’s a horror book. I knew we were going to be using the aunts, but I wanted to show them in a way we hadn’t seen before, so I thought: “Well, what if their masks slip?” And then Francesco worked his magic. But the mythology of witches is deep and terrifying, and we’ve only just started to delve into…
CA: Speaking of Hilda and Zelda, what have they been up to while Riverdale High’s senior class has been busy getting devoured?
RAS: Hmmm… good question. Let me say this: We’ll discover that Sabrina isn’t the only witch who was punished for the events of Issue One. I mean, what were Hilda and Zelda doing with the Necronomicon in the first place? If it even was the Necronomicon… And that’s definitely a tease!