Starting off in a new high school is always rough, but what is with the monsters on the high school lawn? Find out in Sabrina the Teenage Witch #2 from Archie Comics!
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Veronica Fish and Andy Fish
Letterer: Jack Morelli
Publisher: Archie Comic Publications Inc.
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 15, 2019
Previously in Sabrina the Teenage Witch: It is the first day at a new high school for Sabrina Spellman. She’s not at her best first thing in the morning, which is the greatest time (not really) to meet Radka, the resident mean girl. She also meets two handsome boys – Harvey the jock, and Ren, who happens to be Radka’s brother. With a little magic, Sabrina intervenes when Radka is bullying Jessa, which just results in all three girls getting detention, and Radka getting meaner. At least Sabrina is starting to get to know people. After detention, she walks home with Jessa and in the woods they are attacked by a magical creature. It knocks Jessa out, but an earlier spell of Sabrina’s comes to fruition, and the creature is revealed to be none other than Radka and Ren!
SOMETIMES THERE’S NOT ENOUGH SLEEP IN THE WORLD
Sabrina the Teenage Witch #1 opens right as the Wendigo reverts into the barely-conscious forms of Radka and Ren. As she passes out, Radka begs Sabrina not to tell anyone about this, and seems to indicate that someone or something could hurt them. So there’s Sabrina, sitting in the dark with three unconscious teens, trying to figure out what to do, when an enormous monster with tentacles appears and grabs Radka, Ren, and Jessa. Almost reflexively, Sabrina casts a spell to make it drop them, and to make them all invisible to it. Incredibly, it works.
When everyone wakes up, Sabrina pulls the old “hallucinations because of a gas leak” excuse. As they all part for the night, Radka stays behind a moment. It’s clear that Ren doesn’t know anything about being a Wendigo, and Radka asks Sabrina to keep their secret, which she does.
Sabrina gets home and her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, immediately can tell that something is wrong. Sabrina lets on that she was attacked near the school and they immediately start mixing up something to help her heal. (Salem takes advantage of the time with the herbs to beg for catnip – to no avail.) (I’d enjoy seeing a little more of Salem, but overall, less is more in the long run.) Sabrina wonders if they can do some kind of search to look for traces of magic to find the creature. I like this idea of using magic not just for in-the-moment spells, but as a tool for detective work. It turns out that her aunts have a secret basement room for working magic. They cast a really cool spell that shows a map of the town and illuminates magical activity. It is by no accident that they came here. At any rate, there is no trace of the kraken.
The next day at school, a couple more things happen. Sabrina runs into Harvey – literally – and drops her backpack, which spills herbs and flowers. Harvey asks about them, and I like this for his character. Sabrina gives him innocuous responses, but her thoughts tell us the magical uses for all of them. Harvey also asks her out. Also, in chemistry class, Allen spills a flask of stuff on Radka, who naturally chews him out. Sabrina, though, realizes that he doesn’t even see her. Could he be the kraken? He flees the chemistry room and runs off into the boiler room.
FROM THE STRANGE TO THE MUNDANE
The art in Sabrina the Teenage Witch #2 has a lot of territory to cover, and it does it well. I really like the entrance of the kraken, which first starts appearing well behind Sabrina, as we see the silhouette of a tentacle in the moonlight. It makes a teeny noise that gets her attention, and her expression changes dramatically right before we see the beast in all its toothy and tentacled glory. And after Sabrina’s spell, it has this wonderful expression that is a combination of confused and really cross.
In addition to great work on characters, some of the settings are really cool. I really like the details put into Sabrina’s house. When Hilda and Zelda are working with herbs, they’re in a room full of plants, but that also looks like a place where they putter around with the plants. Not only are there potting supplies, but there’s a hutch that’s set up for combining herbs into spells or potions. And the secret basement room is amazing. It’s chock-full of interesting things that draw the eye around the page, and you can totally understand how Sabrina is fascinated by it. And then once they cast their spell, the glowing map of town that appears underfoot is really cool. I really like the way that magic is depicted as a blend of traditional and modern.
BOTTOM LINE: A SOLID BLEND OF MAGIC AND HIGH SCHOOL
Sabrina the Teenage Witch #2 is an engaging book where the wonder of magic intertwines with the everyday in a way that makes it feel down to earth. The art is absolutely lovely and the mystery builds in such a way that it seems to be getting bigger around every corner.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch #2
Balancing chemistry class with dealing with supernatural beings – all in a day’s work for Sabrina!