Archie Comics 2019
Written by Kelly Thompson
Illustrated by Veronica & Andy Fish
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!
So with the success Sabrina has seen of late with her starting the Zombie Apocalypse, getting featured in her own short lived horror title that traversed to a Netflix live action television show, she now makes her return to the regular Archie line of books. With the Archie line taking over as if things are brand new it’s nice to see the same treatment coming from this as well. Sabrina’s first day at her new school in Greendale and starting from scratch while we see her with all her usual teenage angst about it.
I like it though because what Kelly is doing with that angst is something anyone who has ever transferred schools is going to understand all too well. Of course add into all that the whole magic aspect and well you know trouble of a different kind will also follow. So yeah there really is a lot on Sabrina’s plate and to see that even a teenage witch can get nervous and all out of sorts well it’s a refreshing thing to see. The characterisation here is sensationally well done. How honest we are seeing this with her guard down, at least for us, definitely makes us able to relate to her all that much more.
The way that this is structured is great. From the getting up to following her through her day the entire ebb & flow of the book feels normal, relaxed and completely unpredictable for Sabrina. This was a darn near perfect first issue to start things off and it will thrill long time fans of the character as well as those filtering in from the Netflix show. I love that feeling that everything is brand new yet completely familiar and that we get a chance to get to know them all for the first time all over again. Including a couple characters I am not too familiar with myself.
Veronica and Andy make such a great team on the interiors which comes as no surprise after all. The opening where we get to see this amazing book start off with that creativity and imagination in full on horror view is amazing! I love seeing the linework here and how it’s varying weights are utilised throughout to create this lovely attention to detail. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show us this marvellous eye for storytelling. The way that backgrounds are utilised is wonderful to see as it enhances the moment and brings us a nice sense of size and scope to the book. The colour work is utterly delightful and how the colour can be used in Sabrina’s hair to create the full look is stunning.
I really like this issue. The characterisation, the story & plot development and the overall mood, tone and feel that everyone who works on this has created deserves a ton of appreciation. This is the way you want to come into a book and start fresh and feel like being in on the ground floor is so important. With a great sense of trepidation and horror coming from different directions we already know this is going to be one heck of a great time!