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Comic Review: Sabrina The Teenage Witch #1


archie-comic-publications-sabrina-teenage-witch-1-of-5-cvr-a-fish-20181231Sabrina The Teenage Witch #1 (Archie Comics)

Is it really any surprise that this comic is being featured this week? Sabrina Spellman is one of my all time favorite characters in fiction, and while her Netflix show has been a huge success, her comic adventures have been all but nonexistent. Aside from her new supporting role in Archie, the comic that started Sabrina’s resurgence, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, is all but gone from Archie Comics’ publishing schedule, with no new issues in sight. With her popularity back to where it was in the late 90’s, Archie comics finally catches up with a new Sabrina The Teenage Witch series, from writer Kelly Thompson and artist Veronica Fish. While it doesn’t have the dark magic thrills of The Chilling Adventures, there’s still a lot of magical charm in this book’s pages.

Newly relocated to Greendale, Sabrina Spellman is trying to adjust to her new life. Alongside her Aunts, Sabrina has come to Greendale and needs to figure out how to not only be the new girl in school, but also her new burgeoning powers that need to be kept under wraps. Luckily for her, she’s able to make a few new friends, despite coming across the “mean girl” of the school who has her sights on her. That uneasy balance would be hard enough if there wasn’t a Wendigo stalking the woods of Greendale too……

Right from the opening cover, you can tell that this new series is going to be a lot lighter than Chilling Adventures. However, it’s still got some surprisingly dark aspects of from that comic, too. The Wendigo design is certainly very creepy, and Kelly Thompson’s script does a great job of balancing the darker aspects with this lighter tone. Thompson is one of my favorite current writers out there today, so the news that she was taking on this series was very exciting, and she doesn’t disappoint, crafting dialogue that makes Sabrina feel really relatable, despite the fact that she’s half witch. Thompson is also able to make this series accessible to people who have followed the character for a long time like me, and complete newbies that want to check it out after watching the Netflix show.

Veronica Fish is no stranger to the Archie Comics world, so her style is already right at home with Sabrina. Her extremely expressive style works wonderfully for Thompson’s script, and she gives every character their own distinct personality, and in all honesty, you could just look at Fish’s art and still understand everything that’s happening in this issue. Like Thompson’s script, Fish’s art walks the balance between creepy imagery and light, airy tone to make Sabrina one of the best debut issues of the year.

Despite lacking the darker tones of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the new Sabrina The Teenage Witch is a more than a capable replacement for that series. Obviously, I’m a little biased, but even if I didn’t love the character so much I’d probably give it a strong recommendation. It’s a fantastic series for those too scared by Chilling Adventures, and also those who just want more Sabrina Spellman on their pull lists.

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