‘Afterlife With Archie': Sabrina the Teenage Witch returns

July 22, 2014 | 1:36 p.m.
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The cover of "Afterlife with Archie" No. 6, which marks the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics)

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A page from "Afterlife with Archie" No. 6, which marks the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics)

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A page from "Afterlife with Archie" No. 6, which marks the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics)

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A page from "Afterlife with Archie" No. 6, which marks the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics)

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A page from "Afterlife with Archie" No. 6, which marks the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics)

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A page from "Afterlife with Archie" No. 6, which marks the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics)

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A panel from "Afterlife with Archie" No. 6 which marks the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics)

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A page from "Afterlife with Archie" No. 6, which marks the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics)

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"Afterlife with Archie" No. 666, a special Comic-Con 2014 issue. (Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics)

It’s been a busy time in the Archie universe. Last week marked a milestone in Riverdale, as the beloved redhead died in the pages of the future-set “Life With Archie,” taking a bullet for his friend — and newly elected senator — Kevin Keller.

Now “Afterlife With Archie” keeps the ball rolling with a new story set to hit stores Wednesday that promises to raise the drama quotient as well as mark the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch to the series.

Hero Complex has a preview of the issue, which hits stores this week. You can view them in the gallery above or by clicking the links below.

Cover | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 8 | Page 9 | Comic-Con Cover

Sabrina hasn’t been seen since Issue No. 1 of the “Afterlife” series, which debuted last September, but the whole zombie apocalypse mess that comprises the “Afterlife” series is actually her fault.

In the series debut, Sabrina disobeyed her aunts’ orders and read from the Necronomicon (the Book of the Dead) to bring Jughead’s beloved pet, Hot Dog, back to life. Big mistake. With one bite from Hot Dog, Jughead became zombified, and  Sabrina found herself banished to another dimension for her insolence.

Now with the zombie plague more grim than ever, the witch is back.

A panel from "Afterlife with Archie" No. 6 which marks the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Francesco Francavilla/Archie Comics)

A panel from “Afterlife with Archie” No. 6, which marks the return of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (Francesco Francavilla / Archie Comics)

Series writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa talked about Sabrina’s return in a statement about the new issue.

“The last time we saw her, Sabrina’s aunts were banishing her to nether-realm, so it’s a bit destabilizing to see our favorite teen witch in what feels like an insane asylum. Worse, it’s an insane asylum that appears to be run by H.P. Lovecraft, creator of the Cthulhu mythos, and Arthur Machen, who wrote one of the most terrifying stories, ever, called ‘The Great God Pan.’ Sabrina’s trying to figure out what’s happening to her, why she’s there, and what the horrific visions she’s having, of monsters and tentacled creatures, could possibly mean.”

The issue arrives just in time for this week’s Comic-Con and the Archie Comics gang will be on hand as part of Friday’s convention events to talk about all the changes currently rocking the universe. There’s also a special Comic-Con issue of “Afterlife With Archie” (fittingly numbered “666”) which, in addition to a preview of “Afterlife” No. 6, gives a preview of the new “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” story and contains “Afterlife” No. 1, for readers looking to catch up on the series.

“Afterlife” artist Francesco Francavilla said in a statement about the new issue that Sabrina’s return would mark a major turning point in the story.

“Definitely the most creepy, spine-chilling issue of “Afterlife” so far. Just like Sabrina — who is the star of  No. 6 — you won’t believe what your eyes are seeing. This is the issue where ‘Afterlife’ ends to be simply a zombie book and graduates to a full horror book.”

Full horror? Archie slain by assassin’s bullets? Remember when the gang just wanted to get a malt at Pop Tate’s?

Aguirre-Sacasa and Francavilla will both be appearing at Friday’s  “Archie Forever: Life, Afterlife and Beyond,” panel at Comic-Con from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 4.

– Justin Sullivan | @LATHeroComplex

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"Afterlife With Archie" No. 1, by writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Francesco Francavilla, features a cover by Francavilla. (Archie Comics)‘Afterlife With Archie': Francesco Francavilla cover, movie details

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