Sabrina the Teenage Witch is celebrating a milestone – well, two of them actually. The character is enjoying her 60th year in publication and, in the pages of this week’s Sabrina Anniversary Spectacular, the titular witch is turning seventeen, a celebration that brings a whole new set of challenges, including a new nemesis.
In the main story, “Celebration Vexation”, Sabrina’s 17th birthday is interrupted by fellow witch Amber Nightstone. Having been born on the same day, Amber plots to erase Sabrina from existence and take her place in the mortal realm. Created by Archie Comics mainstay Dan Parent, Amber is essentially a dark version of Sabrina, complete with a fun design and attitude, who isn’t afraid to fight dirty. Handling both script and pencils, Parent delivers a story in that classic, Archie style that is perfect for new and longtime readers of all ages.
The bulk of the issue includes similarly fun tales from classic Archie and Sabrina comics, all of which showcase magic gone awry. In “Yarn Yarn”, Sabrina casts a shrinking spell on herself, allowing her to go for a swim in a fish tank, and access a new wardrobe, courtesy of her doll collection. Originally published in 1982, this yarn includes the type of silly antics and innocent cheesecake you’d come to expect from the world of Archie. In 1977’s “Color Coded”, we’re treated to a morally-ambivalent side of Sabrina when she swaps outfits with a store mannequin, attracting the attention of the local police.
Lastly, in “Bat’s All Folks!”, we’re presented with the antics of Little Sabrina, the Pre-Adolescent Witch. Originally published in the pages of “Little Archie” in 1971, this tale sees the adorable witchling unleashing bats upon her school by way of an enchanted harp, as you do. Despite having the highest page-count, this chapter features a reduced role for Sabrina, who takes a backseat to Archie’s grown-up supporting cast, including Mr. Weatherbee, Miss Grundy, and music teacher Mr. Flutesnoot. Relegating the title character to a supporting role is not unique but it does make this entry’s inclusion a curious one.
Overall, the Sabrina Anniversary Spectacular is successful in that it’s a celebration of Sabrina’s past, present, and even her future, as Amber Nightstone is poised to play a recurring role in the good witch’s adventures going forward. Plus it’s always refreshing to have new content featuring the teenage witch, whether it be in a classic setting or as part of Archie’s modern line of titles. One can only hope that a return to Sabrina’s more “chilling” adventures might be on the horizon as well.
Sabrina Anniversary Spectacular0.00
Intro of Amber Nightstone9.0/10
Mr. Weatherbee’s expanded role6.0/10
- Story: Dan Parent, George Gladir, Dexter Taylor, Frank Doyle
- Pencils: Dan Parent, Bob Bolling, Dexter Taylor, Stan Goldberg
- Inks: Bob Smith, Jon D’agostino, Rudy Lapick
- Colors: Glenn Whitmore
- Letters: Jack Morelli, Bill Yoshida
- Cover: Dan Parent
- Publisher: Archie Comic Publications