Sabrina the Teenage Witch brings back memories of the neon 90’s. It was a time when witches were blond, magic went sideways, and cat-familiars-that-were-once-warlocks-bent-on-world-domination looked like terrifying murder puppets.
But now Sabrina will no longer live solely in the realm of nostalgia; the CW and Warner Bros. television are rebooting a drama based one Sabrina. Variety describes the show as a drama that
“reimagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult, and witchcraft. The series is described as being tonally in the vein of horror classics like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist,” and will see Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature as a half-witch, half-mortal while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family, and the daylight world humans inhabit.”
For people who only know Sabrina through the lens of the 90’s, this description sounds out of left field. Where is the light? The joy? The charming dopiness? But the for readers of comic books – yes, Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics exist – this may be less of a shock. In recent iterations, her character has gotten dark.
You should definitely read all about it.
The original Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics were published by Archie Comics and released in 1962. In them, Sabrina wasn’t born in the traditional way but was created by her two aunts, Hilda and Zelda Spellman, when the pair screwed up a magic potion. The trio lived in Greendale, a town near Riverdale where Archie Andrews of Archie Comics fame lived.
Sabrina’s appearance in comics became strange fast.
In the Afterlife with Archie series, she resurrects a man, starts a zombie apocalypse, and is Cthulhu’s bride. In Archie vs. Predator, she is murdered by the titular Predator.
All of those changes have brought us to the most recent Sabrina comics: Chilling Adventure of Sabrina.
The series was released in 2014 as a result of the positive reception to Sabrina’s appearance in Afterlife with Archie. It’s set in the 1960’s, and Sabrina still lives with her aunts in Greendale. Of course when Madam Satan, an old girlfriend of Sabrina’s father, appears straight out of hell, life becomes a bit more complicated.
The series is a fantastic and fun read, and it’s a great way to get in the mood for the TV reboot. (Though the reboot had better keep Salem in it. I love that darn cat, bad muppetry and all.)