With her recent revival in both comics and television courtesy of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, it was only natural that Sabrina the Teenage Witch would return in a new self-titled series. Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!
Finding a middle ground between the decidedly dark tone of the recent Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic/Netflix series, and her more light-hearted portrayals in the past, this series brings Sabrina into the modern Archie universe that was established in the 2015 relaunch. Tasked with the job is writer Kelly Thompson – who has built a considerable reputation for her work at Marvel on Hawkeye and Captain Marvel – and Archie/Marvel artist Veronica Fish (alongside her husband Andy Fish). Both have considerable experience working on teen orientated titles and are a natural fit for the vibe this series is aiming for.
Sabrina remains a relatable character (witchcraft aside) who – alongside her boyfriend Harvey and best friend Jessa – is someone many younger readers will identify with. Many familiar themes are hit upon including starting at a new school, bullying and love triangles which are all handled in an authentic manner. Harvey, Jessa and twin troublemakers Radka and Ren are all given chance for development and avoid falling into the trap of being one note characters which is a great sign for things to come.
The supernatural side is also well covered with monster attacks, demonic possession and krakens just to name a few. As usual, Sabrina is accompanied by her familiar – the black cat Salem. The one thing that is currently missing from the Netflix iteration of Sabrina is Salem being able to talk. Thankfully, this series does not make that omission as Salem has retained his snarky banter that long-time fans will be familiar with, and it is clear Thompson is having a ton of fun writing his dialogue.
Veronica Fish has done a significant chunk of work on modern Archie comics, so she is very much accustomed to the style and tone the series goes for these days. She is right at home in the high school setting and the series has a vibrancy in the art that helps carry the story to another level. Not that she’s a slouch in the supernatural department though as she creates some truly wonderful pages – with the kraken reveal and Salem’s enhanced form being particularly memorable.
Fans of the Netflix series will find this a perfect way to hold themselves over until the series returns in 2020 and fans of modern Archie comics will be more than satisfied with another strong entry in the current line of titles.
9781682558058 – P/B £12.99