Jughead has officially gone out on his first date (with Sabrina, the teenage witch), and it sucked. He’s actually really, really bad at dating—so much so that it made Archie look like Casanova. Jughead has no idea that he got on a witch’s bad side, though.
This issue starts with Sabrina trying to hide a spell she case from Jughead, Reggie, and Hot Dog. Surprisingly, it works. Jughead and Sabrina go on with their lives and eventually meet up at Pop’s. The two share a meal and decide to just be friends. But Sabrina still isn’t satisfied with her life. She begins telling Jughead about her troubles (while cleverly disguising the words “witch” and “magic”), and Jughead is rather helpful. Life isn’t perfect, but it sure is better—especially with a friend like Jughead.
Jughead’s non-joking side shows a lot in this issue, and it’s beautiful. He’s serious with Sabrina when he helps her, but writer Ryan North is still able to make it seem as lighthearted as any conversation with the guy. Jughead is like the bff we all want. Sabrina is the badass we all want to know because she’s just too cool to miss out on. I mean, instead of sleeping at night, she takes flights on her broomstick! She gives Jughead dreams about talking burgers! She created a huge monster! She has an adorable cat! What’s not to love?
Sabrina’s aunts are a lot different in the comic book than in the sitcom, which is largely responsible for boosting Sabrina’s popularity. In the sitcom, Hilda and Zelda try to teach Sabrina how to use her powers responsibly, for good, and sparingly, so she can learn how to live without them. In the comic book series, however, they want her to be essentially lazy and carefree, because she can use magic for everything. They are even illustrated to look like snobs! Sabrina is the opposite in each, too. In this issue, Sabrina wants to work for her rewards, not use magic for them. This is one of the most endearing things I’ve ever seen. What teenager actually wants to work for their benefit? Even Jughead tells Sabrina to be more of a kid. North gives us some awesome characterization here and shows us just how responsible and downright brilliant Sabrina really is.
Derek Charm’s illustrations help make the script very lively and entertaining. There is a bit of a montage towards the end of the issue where we see Jughead and Sabrina living their respective lives. They both look pretty happy. The panels are side by side, so we can see them both at the same time, on the same page.
Charm’s line work is clean and solid. The artwork looks very neat and has a lot of subtle nuances that add character to the issue, like Sabrina’s t-shirts (a black cat on one; a pumpkin, ghost, and cat on the other). The characters show quite a bit of emotion, so we can easily tell how they feel during any given event. Attention to detail like Sabrina daydreaming in classic Archie comic style art—Ben Day dots and all—really show how much effort the creative team put into this issue. Charm has a cartoonish art style, appropriate for all Archie comic books and, despite its lack of intricate detail and much realism, it perfectly fits the script.
Of course, as always, there is a back story. This one is a Jughead comic from 1961, in which Archie gets turned into a bee. It’s a kooky one, but just as adorably humorous as all Archie comics.
As much as I loved this issue and Jughead’s newfound friendship with Sabrina, I kind of wish the two had become an item. Yeah, it would have taken some getting used to, seeing as Jughead has never dated anyone, but they were cute. Even their pets balance out! Hot Dog and Salem are just as awesome as Jughead and Sabrina. In any case, I hope we see more of Sabrina, even though she’s essentially out of the bulk of Jughead’s life. I am, however, super glad that she was brought to the series in the first place. The Archie universe is doing well as a whole, and I couldn’t recommend these newer books more. This issue just came out today, so head over to your local comic book shop and give it a read.
Written by: Ryan North
Illustrated by: Derek Charm