You know that expression, about finding the one, and seeing your future with that person? That’s Sabrina #2. This issue makes so many good decisions. It’s like Sabrina #1 loaded the bases so #2 could score the home run.
Having already identified Radka and Ren as the wendigo in #1, there’s another secret Radka’s forced to let Sabrina in on and, while she manages to slip in a threat first, her trust in Sabrina alters everything (it’s a tie between Radka’s threat and the look Sabrina tosses Salem later for best moment of the issue). Sabrina gets to call Radka out like nobody else can and it’s not because she’s lording her knowledge of Radka’s secret over her head. This is the Wizard of Oz and Sabrina has seen behind the metaphorical curtain-front Radka puts up to find the person underneath. Radka makes a few attempts to act like nothing’s changed but their relationship isn’t going backwards and to make that much progress by issue two (and to have it not feel rushed) sets an exciting pace for the series.
Veronica and Andy Fish’s art feels less textured to start (that changes once we enter Zelda and Hilda’s basement) but it also feels bigger. Cleaner panels mean a monster is more of an intrusion and there’s so much more to this monster than first meets the eye (or side eye, since that’s what it’s giving Sabrina by the end). Trying to learn more about the creature helps distract her aunts from finding out about the wendigo, but it’s also a good mystery in its own right.
Sabrina’s spell count picks up where issue #1 left off. Like the spell Sabrina cast on Radka, it’s not the spell’s original target you have to worry about (there wouldn’t be such a need to keep track of them, if that were the case). It’s when the spell surpasses its purpose and starts having unintended effects that you have to be vigilant. Without an expiration date, you never know when an old spell might resurface. That isn’t inherently bad but it does keep life unpredictable. Sabrina has a built-in source for surprises, and it’s being utilized to full effect.
Kelly Thompson continues to be one of the best interior monologue writers in the biz and the slight change in color, along with shape, for the narration boxes by letterer, Jack Morelli, accommodates quick changes from dialogue to narration.
While I’d still probably prefer if the love triangle didn’t exist, it doesn’t dominate too much time and you really feel, in her scenes with Harvey, how much Sabrina has to juggle between presenting as a mortal and dealing with magic. Her attention’s being called away the entire time he’s talking to her and the scramble is real in the Fish’s art.
Sabrina Spellman is bound for great things and it’s all cemented by this issue. If you’re wavering on whether or not to give this series a try, at least stick around until this one. I wasn’t there after #1, but I couldn’t be more bewitched now.
Sabrina #2 goes on sale May 8th from Archie Comics.