Sabrina the Teen Age Witch Vol. 1 (1962)
Sabrina the Teen Age Witch was a popular sitcom in the 90’s, but it originated as a spin-off series produced by Archie Comics. The series has references to Riverdale and the classic characters Betty, Veronica, and Archie. It focuses, however, on the life of Sabrina Spellman who just can’t seem to find the balance between a high school social life and being a witch.
The series was recently revamped by artist Robert Hack and writer Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa. In this re-imagining of Sabrina the Teen Age Witch, the origin story of the character is elaborated in a darker tone. The religion of witchcraft is a major part of the story line in the new series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, whereas in the original it was not so much the notion of witchcraft that was at play, but the fact that Sabrina was a witch in a regular high school.
The reboot of this series offers what is called a clinamen swerve to the original. The new series is consistent with the original in that it stills involves the town of Riverdale as well as the characters of Betty, Veronica, and Archie. It also still follows the plot that Sabrina is indeed a young witch trying to cope with her star-crossed mortal love and the world of witchcraft. The subject that allows for the swerve however, is in the new series’ focus on the practice of Wicca. In the series, the devil is described as the idol of worship for witches. Immediately the reader learns that Sabrina’s birth revolved around dark magic and a deal with Lucifer.
More is revealed about the religion of the witches as the series unfolds. Their house of worship is described, the rules and laws of the coven are described. Even the rituals and celebrations are depicted and described throughout the series via stories told by the aunts to Sabrina. The swerve here takes the original and gives it more depth and layers. By adding the constructs of the Wicca religion to the new series, a sense of reality or possibility is portrayed. In the original series, Sabrina as a witch is depicted as mythical and as a fairy tale. In contrast, the institution and idol of worship that is added to the new series makes the idea of Sabrina as a witch seem more believable because she has a sort of organized foundation.
To conclude the swerve presented in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina takes the original series up a notch and pushes it in the direction of the strong poet. While Sabrina the Teen Age Witch is enjoyable and light-hearted, the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina brings sophistication and insight to the world that is witchcraft.
Original linkOriginal author: Jesse Rego