REVIEW: ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch,’ Issue #5 (of 5)

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Sabrina the Teenage Witch #5

Sabrina the Teenage Witch #5 marks the end of the first arc in writer Kelly Thompson’s Sabrina reboot for Archie Comics. Last issue, everyone’s favorite aunts Hilda and Zelda wandered into the woods but haven’t returned, Greendale is getting ready to start a witch-hunt because of the monster attacks, and it’s time for Sabrina to take their fate into her own hands. Using every bit of magic she can muster, Sabrina created a supernatural set of armor as she prepares to save every she loves head on – she even transformed Salem into a panther with wings.

Now, in Sabrina the Teenage Witch #5, written by Thompson, with art from Veronica and Andy Fish, with letters by Jack Morelli, we’re jumping into the adventure with Sabrina while she takes on a monster horde. With last issue’s magical girl themed transformation into her armor, this issue continues that inspiration as Sabrina fights off her classmates who happen to be monsters while she tries to save her family.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch #5

Sabrina the Teenage Witch #5 is a wonderful ending to this story. Thompson has excelled in balancing Sabrina’s teenage love triangle and her agency. Not only does Sabrina make choices for herself but she never lets boys get in the way of her duties to her family. She’s powerful and not to be underestimated, which the secret behind all the monster-kids finds out in the final act of the issue.

Thompson’s writing of Sabrina is matched with the overall message of this issue and ultimately the five-issue story as a whole which pushes back on ideas of entitlement. Given Sabrina’s identity as a half-human über witch, this is a difficult balance. But Thompson does this by showing Sabrina as a teen who succeeds by pushing through her doubt. She believes in her power but she works for it, the opposite of the this arc’s hidden antagonist.

In addition to an amazing story, nothing gets better than the Fish team’s art, the color, the illustration; it all sings. Vibrant, spooky, and unequivocally Sabrina, their art has been one of the best things of this entire series. While I am in love with Thompson’s authentic portrayal of teens and her focus on Sabrina’s ability to find her power, the art is what called to me when I saw issue number one and it’s a style I will be looking for in other works now that it’s done.

Overall, Sabrina the Teenage Witch #5 is a delight. It’s beautiful and balanced between love and witchy duty. This revamp of Sabrina is more than I could have expected and quite honestly better than the Netflix series. Luckily, this isn’t the end for the creative team’s take on the character. Earlier this week, Archie Comics announced that Thompson and the Fish art team will be returning to continue her story in Sabrina: Something Wicked This Way Comes and I for one can’t wait to jump back in when it hits shelves in 2020.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch #5 is available now.

Rating: 5/5

Sabrina the Teenage Witch #5
5

TL;DR

Sabrina the Teenage Witch #5 is a delight. It’s beautiful and balanced between love and witchy duty. This revamp of Sabrina is more than I could have expected and quite honestly better than the Netflix series. Luckily, this isn’t the end for the creative team’s take on the character.