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"Madam Satan #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Archie Comics


Written by Eliot Rahal
Illustrated by Julius Ohta
Colored by Matt Herms
Lettered by Jack Morelli
2020, 33 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on October 21st, 2020


We still have no idea if or when we'll get more Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comics, so to hold us over, Archie has released a one-shot focused on Madam Satan, the Queen of Hell. After dispatching with Lucifer and taking his throne, what else is there for her to do? Thoughts creep back to Greendale where she sees a new opportunity to wreak some havoc.

It's tough to review Madam Satan looking at it on its own, as it's so closely tied to the Sabrina series. Ultimately, it serves as a small appetizer when we've been starving for a main course. Writer Eliot Rahal manages to juggle re-establishing this character, making us care about her, and show her as a formidable threat to the teenage witch. He accomplishes this task, but overall the plot still falls a bit short.

Click images to enlarge

Most of this comes down to how Madam Satan handles herself. I remember thinking she was bonkers when she first popped up in Sabrina, as she basically gets so mad at Edward Spellman for breaking up with her that she throws herself into the lions cages at the zoo, then comes back from the dead to scare the crap out of the guy's daughter. Turns out, she's still pretty bonkers, but now she's bored too because running Hell is a thankless, uninteresting responsibility. She longs for some bloodshed.

Artist Julius Ohta is the star of Madam Satan, creating some chilling imagery. There is something so very terrifying about a woman with skulls for eyes. The thing is, she's just as scary in her human form. She comes across as very confident and powerful. You do not want to mess with her. Granted, if you did, she might just throw herself off a cliff or something, so maybe you'd be okay.

Letterer Jack Morelli captures this in a particularly strong moment where she really lets loose. Her words pop on the page like an explosion of energy.

Click images to enlarge

Anyway, we get a small sampling of what Hell is like in Madam Satan #1. Ohta has designs for some of the Queen's servants, minions, and opposition, each of which would be right at home on a metal album cover.

Colorist Matt Herms strikes a nice balance between the dark and broody and fiery intensity. For example, Madam Satan wears a long dark gown adorned with literal flames, kind of like a high collar. I don't know anything about clothes so I don't know what that's called. It looks cool is what I'm trying to say. The light of the fire contrasts with the dark dress.

Madam Satan is in a damned if you do, damned if you don't spot. It's burdened by the rest of the Sabrina series that's been MIA for ages, serving as a reminder of all that's left unfinished. It struggles to get out from beneath that weight. By the end, we get there, however this is only a one-shot, so it's whetting our appetite without satisfying it. I want more.


Story: threestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK
Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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