(w) Kelly Thompson (a) Veronica Fish, Andy Fish
With a publication life spanning 57 years it can be hard to make something feel fresh and new. Having been in multiple types of media and different genres, Sabrina The Teenage Witch can easily become boring or the same routine. In the recent years, we were treated to The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, which was great until it was hit with delays that caused us to not see anymore issues even in 2019. With the success of that series came the Netflix adaption which has been well-received. Both the comic and show had a more adult horror theme, which in itself is great, but a far cry from her creation as a more fun and colorful character. That is exactly what 2019’s Sabrina The Teenage Witch is bringing back.
In Sabrina The Teenage Witch #2, Kelly Thompson keeps the same high school vibes with snappy teenage dialogue and a fair mix of teenage drama – including love triangles. All of these are the makings for a reader’s high school life, but with a good amount of supernatural presence mixed in. In the previous issue. on her way home Sabrina encounters a wendigo, who she is able to “defeat” causing the creature to spilt apart into Ren and his sister Radka. As usual, Sabrina just can’t catch a break with what seems to be a kraken happening upon the scene. All this leads into her normal high school life, home life, and supernatural life all colliding into one big mess of a mystery. Thompson Keeps the dialogue fast with her understanding of teenagers feelings shining through helping the reader not feel as if the writing was done by an adult trying to act “hip” or younger. With feelings amplified via dialogue helping you identify with the characters anger, fear, jealousy, or embarrassment.
With the first issue of Sabrina, I felt there may not be much plot or substance for an ongoing, but Sabrina The Teenage Witch #2 calms some of those qualms. Without getting into spoilers – as this is free of those – Thompson writes one mystery being somewhat resolved transforming into yet another mystery unfolding itself to the reader. Another beat that Thompson hits quite well is the character not relying on magic constantly. In most media, when a character has magic, or an object overly powerful (looking at you, Doctor Who) the writers put them in constant situations that need them to only rely on those powers and nothing else. Within two issues we haven’t ran into that yet, here’s to hoping we don’t in the future. It’s nice to see a more down to earth fun filled high school story that just happens to revolve around a highly supernatural area with residential witches.
The story helps give a sense of fun and style to itself but the art by Veronica and Andy Fish brings it to another level. Archie Comics couldn’t have picked a better duo to take a crack – or should I say take a “kraken” – at such a vibrant story. Yes I know that joke was bad, but this art is on the opposite spectrum, it’s great. Maybe not even great, it’s spelltastic! The character designs give off a sense of their own personalities, with the few creatures we’ve meet so far looking great in all manners of art. When a character feels any certain way there are noticeable differences in their body alignment and faces helping amplify the dialogue and feeling said character has. Each background feels unique in their own ways with cluttered backgrounds looking busy but your still able to make objects out, and the more empty ones looking beautiful with how they use the space.
The story, characters, and pencil art are a spell to behold, but what really catches the eye while taking everything up one level is the pop we receive from the colors. Each color looks gorgeous with a certain hue that feels straight out of fantastical wizards story. With a vibrant glow that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside giving the story the kick that sets it apart form other magic based stories out there. Each scene with it’s different layers of colors jump off the pages in a beautiful spiral of grand imagination. You could say the colors put you under its spell.
Memorable Quote: ” How can a kraken on a high school lawn not be supernatural?” – Sabrina. Well Sabrina, I think it just depends on where you live huh?
Sabrina The Teenage Witch #2 releases on May 15th.