Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artists: Veronica Fish, Andy Fish
Letterer: Jack Morelli
Publisher: Archie Comics
Sabrina: Something Wicked #1 continues a successful run re-imagining the world’s most renowned teen witch. Sabrina Spellman must balance two worlds that are pulling her in different directions — in both life and love — all while protecting her town from supernatural forces.
Her plan to lead a (somewhat) normal high school life, while indulging in her magical birthright at night, is slipping away like a dream, as she nods off in class and tiredly brushes off her friends. Of course, she’s also torn between the affections of two boys: a kind, hunky mortal and a supernatural bad boy. It’s the typical formula for STTW, which is overdone in my opinion, but Thompson raises the stakes early and focuses the intrigue on Sabrina’s passion for expanding her magical prowess as she avoids addressing her love life.
Sabrina is still a budding witch, but, as usual, she is diving in starry-eyed, determined, and confident. Perhaps too confident, if Salem has anything to say about it — which he does, of course! Although Sabrina being passionate and determined isn’t anything new, I find Thompson’s version to be quite novel in Sabrina’s problem-solving abilities and self-confidence — rather than over-confidence (at least for now). The plot also puts some of the reader’s basic assumptions into question, which is always a good way to shake up an enduring and illustrious protagonist.
I’m always blown away by Veronica Fish and Andy Fish’s artwork, and it suits Sabrina’s style perfectly. I find the coloring particularly notable in this series, with some pages swirling in a colorful glow and others using Sabrina’s distinctive, white-haired silhouette to draw the eye. The characterization is great throughout, but Salem stands out — despite only being in one scene. Salem is so wonderfully portrayed, with all the sass and mannerisms of the ’90s television show on full display. Finally, I have to mention the cover gallery, which features some amazing artists who all set very different tones with their variants (preview pages with the variant cover gallery are featured below). As usual, I’m partial to Sweeney Boo’s cover, but I really dig the vibe of Cameron Stewart’s darker variant, which is reminiscent of old mystery series like Nancy Drew.
Something Wicked #1 is set up to be a good entry point for new readers, but it’s also deeply rooted in the last arc (the first volume is on sale now). Thompson starts off with the newest malevolence to threaten Greendale, but most scenes will have a greater emotional impact if you’re familiar with the characters. That being said, you get more than enough context to orient yourself, and there is a short recap on the credits page if you need it.
Sabrina: Something Wicked #1 will be available in comic shops on April 1, 2020.