Archie Comics is looking to explore the “Sabrina The Teenage Witch” property with the debut of a brand new ongoing series. The debut of “Sabrina The Teenage Witch” told a youthful, endearing story that took lots of the classic elements of the franchise that came before. Will the title be able to keep up that some momentum and level of excitement from the debut? Will Veronica and Andy Fish be able to keep a consistent level of quality for the interior pages? Also, what elements does up-and-coming comic book writer Kelly Thompson bring to the property?
Written by Kelly Thompson
Illustrated and colored by Veronica Fish and Andy Fish
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Very weird goings-on in the town of Greendale are making Sabrina Spellman’s relocation to Greendale High…complicated. Protecting her friends, saving her family, solving a supernatural mystery, and keeping her witch nature a secret is starting to seem impossible. Something’s gotta give…but which one will it be and what will it mean for her future in Greendale?!
“Sabrina The Teenage Witch” #2 continues Kelly Thompson’s endearing, yet measured take on the character. This chapter is structured in an odd manner that is able to show off the interesting supporting cast in the series. While there are several moments that dive straight into the occult, Thompson does an excellent job grounding the script with touches from Sabrina’s personal life. The sequences in the issue show contain all the different facets of Sabrina’s life and how big her supporting cast has become.
The issue tackles a Spider-Man-like balance between Sabrina and her home life. Writer Kelly Thompson’s script carries lots of stakes as Sabrina has limited resources. The issue is structured like a Peter Parker story, exploring how Sabrina doesn’t have enough time to do everything she wants or needs in a given day. Readers are introduced to lots of different characters in the issue. This entry manages to cover a lot of different storylines without feeling rushed. Thompson does a great job taking care to ensure the supernatural elements fuse together with the content in the script.
The issue carries a friendly tone extremely well. The title evokes a very similar nature to the core Archie series. “Sabrina The Teenage Witch” is a family-friendly comic that still feels like it is willing to push boundaries and come off as dark as it needs to be in order to tell a compelling story. Thompson does a great job exploring a location like Sabrina’s library while fleshing out the relationships between Sabrina’s aunts Hilda and Zelda.
The art from Veronica and Andy Fish carries a really grounded aesthetic. The art and color are bright and saturated. The issue carries a striking production quality and looks beautiful on every page. Veronica and Andy Fish find really interesting ways to frame the sequences in the comic. The story’s more ethereal qualities exploring the supernatural is the best part of the issue from a visual standpoint. Hilda and Zelda’s basement scene is arguably the most important part of the issue. The pages carry a dark panel border and feature a few bewildering expressions juxtaposed really nicely with Sabrina’s hair or bright lab equipment in the background of certain panels.
The acting and motion of the figures are depicted with a lot of care. Veronica and Andy Fish give the characters some kind of pose or facial reaction in every panel. There are times when the heavy amount of captions and dialogue make the page look crowded. There are also some scenes in need of more detail in the background of the panel. While the scenes of motion and Sabrina’s reaction shot in the hallway with Harvey was amusing, Harvey’s face seems to completely change in structure in one panel. It is also strange that his face doesn’t have as much detail as Sabrina’s. It is still incredibly easy to overlook some of the minor quibbles I have with the art and recognize the impressive level of quality represented by the visuals in the issue.
“Sabrina The Teenage Witch” #2 switches between scenes really fast and doesn’t quite have the right pacing or shock value to make the cliffhanger as interesting as it could have been. Thompson does a good job building as much momentum as she can with the fast pace of the story and serialized nature of comics. The issue also has an impressive amount of subtext similar to the core “Archie” titles. Readers usually aren’t told everyone’s thoughts on the page in some of the more melodramatic moments within the script.Continued below
“Sabrina The Teenage Witch” #2 expands on the first entry and pushes the plot forward with nearly every supporting player from the debut issue. The issue has a quick plot and pace but never disorients the reader. The title switches tones between an average high school drama story on one page and an investigation into a magic-filled basement in the very next scene. The all-ages approach to the title doesn’t make Sabrina’s plot elements come off as diluted or censored. I would like to see the supernatural elements fleshed out further in future issues. It would also be interesting to see Sabrina directly confront a villain at some point in the future.
Final Verdict: 8.4 – “Sabrina The Teenage Witch” #2 explores several important plot points from the debut and features a solid cliffhanger.