SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2 continues to prove that the new series just works. The best proof I have of that is how its writer, Kelly Thompson, opens the book. By page 3, a toothed kraken busts out of the ground — and it doesn’t seem out-of-place at all. What could be seen as campy gives Sabrina an opportunity to flex the wit and pluck I’ve long associated with her character, and the story only gets better from there.

The Plot of SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2 Introduces a Mystery that Can’t Be Solved with Magic

With the first issue introducing the characters, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2 wastes no time establishing Greendale’s larger mystery. The only answer we get to the previous issue’s cliffhanger — when only Sabrina can rescue Jessa, Radka, and Ren — Thompson packs with even more questions. Is something supernatural going on in Greendale? Aunts Hilda and Zelda seem skeptical. Why were Ren and Radka fused together into a wendigo? No one is talking.

I really like where this is going for the series. Even if this issue introduces a touch of teenage romance, the book reads more like a mystery than anything else. Thompson befuddles a reality-bending witch by introducing supernatural elements that may not be magical. This will force Sabrina to solve the mystery with her cunning and intellect. And, to be honest, those have always been two of the three traits of Sabrina that I’ve admired the most. From SABRINA THE WITCH #2, it’s clear that this series will continue to play right into that classic appeal.

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #1
Sabrina’s magic comes face to face with…science? Image courtesy of Archie Comics.

Sabrina Continues to Carry the New Series with Heart

Sabrina Spellman’s heart is the third trait of hers that Kelly Thompson weaves so wonderfully into SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2. I use “heart,” of course, for the blend of compassion and ardor that that word connotes. Sabrina gets bumped about, bored, and embarrassed in this book, but she never gives up trying to help others. The fact that we see all of this through the humor of her inner monologues makes the book just fun to read.

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2
Even without words, it’s clear what Sabrina, Hilda, and Zelda are thinking. Image courtesy of Archie Comics.

But for as much as the first issue invested in introducing new characters, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2 is really just Sabrina’s story. Aunts Zelda and Hilda appear to deliver facts alone (albeit in a great sequence); Salem speaks once. Jessa and Ren only talk in the beginning. The two most interesting characters besides Sabrina are Radka and Harvey Kinkle. The former shows remorse and apprehension behind her domineering personality while the latter introduces a new procedural challenge for Sabrina.

Yet all of this doesn’t really matter. Being the lone witch at her school means it’s okay that she’s the sole focus of the series. After all, it will generally be her actions and her responses that lead to anything interesting happening. There is certainly richness to be found in her interactions with the rest of the cast, but if that takes a back seat for one issue, I have no complaints.

Veronica and Andy Fish Return in Excellent Form for SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2

If the Kelly Thompson provides an excellent script, the art duo of Andy and Veronica fish gives an equally excellent performance. There’s a magic that happens when artists resonate with writers, and that’s certainly what happens with this book.

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2 shows the Fish team building upon what they already delivered in the first issue. The way that they draw characters with slightly over-exaggerated emotions brings out a lively energy to Thompson’s dialogue that’s infectious. Not only do we see Sabrina show a number of different and believable emotions, but we even get to see the face a land kraken makes while storming away.

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I’ve never seen a huffy land kraken, until now. Image courtesy of Archie Comics.

And if that wasn’t enough, Andy and Veronica Fish clearly have fun with the environments, too. We get a look at all of the details in Hilda and Zelda’s garden and secret magical basement. Along the walls of her chemistry classroom are posters displaying chemistry puns. And for something a little less literal, Sabrina’s off-palette magic comes back to douse the color-scheme with its otherworldly presence. This is a vibrant comic, chock full of clever artistic choices and pure talent.

A textless page reveals Aunts Hilda’s and Zelda’s medicinal garden. Image courtesy of Archie Comics.

Final Thoughts on SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2

In the end SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2 met my expectations. It’s a fun ride, plain as that. Sabrina herself has the voice I imagine most of us wish we’d have in our heads day-to-day. It’s one that notices how crazy, strange, and weird the world is but refuses to let that get to her. She brings positive energy to her negative circumstances without any magic at all. And, at the risk of sounding trite, there’s something magical about that.

I know that SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2 is about sussing out the nature of the monsters lurking about Greendale, but maybe it can teach something else about living. Maybe all that stands between success and defeat — or, at least, success that has some set-backs — is attitude. Sabrina, above all else, is an optimist. That optimism comes with some cynicism, granted, but it still believes in hope and good.

These universal themes may not be on the surface of the story, but they certainly permeate Sabrina’s character. Maybe that’s what I mean when I say the story works. There’s more to SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2 than the plot or land kraken. Sabrina is someone to believe in. For those of us who never gave up a wish for the make-believe, the comic gives a reason to hold out hope for a little more magic in our lives.

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2 by Kelly Thompson (script), Veronica Fish and Andy Fish (art), and Jack Morelli (letters)
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #2 continues the high standards set by Kelly Thompson (script) and Andy and Veronica Fish (the art team). Sabrina reacts with the pluck and wit I’ve come to expect of the teenaged witch in a way that feels internally consistent and believable. Veronica and Andy Fish have the powerful ability to bring Thompson’s script to life through unambiguous emotions and compelling backgrounds. Although this issue doesn’t add much to the other characters, Sabrina is more than capable of carrying the story on her own. The comic is intelligent, unpretentious, and fun.
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