Advanced Review – ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Something Wicked #1’
by Rachel Bellwoar
This April, Sabrina the Teenage Witch returns with the same creative team and a new title. As for what “Something Wicked” means, some of the covers that have been announced so far (particularly Sweeney Boo’s variant cover for the second issue) have lent to the impression that it could be Sabrina. Not that the comic book and the Netflix show are related (they don’t even share the same characters) but it’s hard not to think of the season one finale of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, when Sabrina signed the Book of the Beast and let her hair go white.
While there’s still time for that theory to come to fruition, issue one of the new arc starts by introducing another possibility for who, or what, “Something Wicked” might be. Granted, we don’t see much of the “Something,” – just their hand. One can assume there’ll be a body attached, but if you agree with the rule that the less a monster is seen, the better, then artists Veronica Fish and Andy Fish, are making sure readers stay uneasy.
It’s not even the most frightening hand to behold, but while I imagine Kelly Thompson probably wrote this issue before the COVID-19 virus had spread as far as it has these past few months, one thing the virus has made people aware of is the importance of not touching your face. What makes the “Something” in this issue scary is what readers see it do and what it does, to put it mildly, is touch someone’s face.
Letterer, Jack Morelli, adds some wonderful sfx to this scene. A cat purring on its own isn’t scary but when that “purrrrr” turns into a “hssss,” and the person petting the cat hasn’t done anything wrong, then you know something is coming – something wicked and bad.
Most of this first issue, though, is about showing how much Sabrina is struggling to find time for her friends between schoolwork and witchcraft. While she keeps making plans with them to try and make-up for not being around, history seems doomed to repeat itself and while a few people know she’s half human, half witch (namely Radka and her aunts, Hilda and Zelda), nobody is helping Sabrina shoulder the load.
Radka has an excuse. She has her own problems to solve, and if there’s one thing that does hold Sabrina’s attention this issue, it’s the curse that’s been turning Ren and Radka into a wendigo. Sabrina is determined to find a cure. Otherwise this issue, like Sabrina, jumps all over the place. A lot of ongoing problems carried over from the first arc. A lot of reminding readers where this series left off.
It’s not a weak issue, but it’s probably going to take another one for this arc to really takeoff. Sabrina’s aunts, on the other hand, need to step up now. According to Sabrina’s narration they’re “annoyed with how distracted” she’s been. Well, it sounds like they’ve been dropping the ball, too, when it comes to her witch education.
Sabrina: Something Wicked #1 goes on sale April 1st from Archie Comics.