One of Archie Comics’ best decisions was modernizing their comics, taking their iconic characters and putting them in monthly release comics that follow singular storylines as opposed to mini funny pages. Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Something Wicked is another strong entry in the “new” Archie publication line, spearheaded by Kelly Thompson, Andy Fish, and Veronica Fish.
The story picks up after Thompson’s 2019 series, following Sabrina, Harvey, and Thompson’s new characters, Radka and Ren. Radka and Ren still feel like natural additions to this world, seamlessly fitting into the Sabrina cast. Something about Thompson’s take on the character feels like it’s inspired by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic series, though far less dark. Even the Fish’s pencils and coloring seem to evoke that comic a bit.
A strange new phenomenon in Sabrina lore is the desire to split Harvey Kinkle, her longtime love interest, from her. The Netflix adaptation of Chilling Adventures did this by introducing Nick Scratch, giving the two their ending together. Thompson does this through Ren Ransom. It’s understandable, the desire to introduce a new plotline for a character and break the norm, but it doesn’t always work. Harvey and Sabrina are like Superman and Lois at this point — you can’t really break them up. Thompson’s desire for something fresh is admirable, however.
Like other Archie properties, Sabrina works best in its slice-of-life stories. For a story about a teenage witch, this happens when Sabrina is forced to juggle her personal life with her big secret — in Something Wicked, this leads to great scenes with characters like Jessa and Harvey, who just can’t understand why Sabrina is often so flighty. Thompson nails the classic Sabrina style here in these interactions.
The overarching plot about Radka, Ren, and the Wendigos is a bit predictable. Early on, readers can discern Della’s two-faced nature and that the book itself would use Ren’s situation to push him and Sabrina together. Thompson is usually a master at the last-second plot twist, which is perhaps best proved by her Captain Marvel run, but here it isn’t quite as strong. Because of the predictability of the final chapters, the ending falls a bit short.
The final battle is, however, a great chance for Veronica Fish and Andy Fish to show off their art skills. The colors here really pop and the images they draw are just striking. It really evokes that Chilling Adventures style while being entirely their own.
All in all, Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Something Wicked is another exciting chapter in Thompson’s Sabrina comics, with an exciting third installment hinted at from the final pages.
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