Sabrina has been struggling to find time for her friends lately (and her love life is extremely complicated), but should that really be such a concern when there’s a serial killer on the loose?
Picking up where issue #2 left off, issue #3 of Sabrina: Something Wicked finds Sabrina kneeling in what’s left of the woods she supposedly destroyed with her magic. When Della said she wanted to show Sabrina something she didn’t make out like it was anything bad. The weirdest thing about this scene, though, is the timing.
Why did Della sit on this reveal for so long? Right before she showed up Sabrina was doing a spell that she hadn’t tried before. If the woods had been destroyed as a consequence of that it would’ve been a big deal because Sabrina didn’t have to cast that spell. She could’ve gone to her aunts for advice. Della is referring to magic Sabrina did back in volume one, when her aunts were being burned at the stake. They would’ve died if Sabrina hadn’t come to their rescue and, as Della herself admits, the woods will grow back. To make a guilt trip out of that now seems odd and a little late.
Still, we’re halfway into the second arc of Sabrina and nothing seems to be progressing. It was one thing for Sabrina to be distracted and not follow the news when the first reports of a serial killer in Greendale came out but it’s time that storyline kicked into gear. Greendale is a small town. This should have everyone’s attention, yet nobody seems to be reacting to the deaths at school. Artists, Veronica and Andy Fish, made us properly scared of the killer in the first issue, when we saw what they did to their victims, but there’s barely been any reference to them since. Going by the recap and the teaser for each issue, you’d think finding the killer was Sabrina’s top priority but it’s not.
By resolving at least one half of Sabrina’s love triangle this issue (or at least putting it on pause, because let’s be realistic), writer, Kelly Thompson, sets the stage for other storylines to takeover but it doesn’t even last an issue. They’re already talking again.
It is cool to see how quickly the series has developed a visual language. At one point Sabrina casts an invisibility spell and it’s the same coloring as when Sabrina was invisible back in volume one, issue #3. That consistency really helps to establish this world where even magic has rules.
One of the best pages is when Sabrina and Jessa are watching a horror movie together. Everything about Sabrina’s body language says this film’s going to be a breeze but over the course of the page you see her become just as jumpy as Jessa, and the colors are like Scottie’s nightmare in Vertigo. I’m not sure if the phone vibration lines would count as part of the art or letterer, Jack Morelli’s, SFX, but they’re marvelously overwrought, like an optical illusion.
There’s still time for this arc to turn around, and Thompson and the Fishes knocked it out of the park the first time, but the problem is it feels like they might be working towards the same twist they did in volume one with Professor Sampson. You didn’t see it coming then but now it seems obvious (unless that’s the point and it’s all a misdirect).
Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Something Wicked #3 is on sale now from Archie Comics.