Sabrina #101: The Cat Takes Over

I was curious to see what Archie Comics did with the title after the Sabrina manga ends with #100. Today, they announced that her cat Salem was taking over the title, as it goes from girly manga to boys’ wizard adventure.

They’re billing it as “a four-part miniseries-within-a-series”, which means they keep the title as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, although the star is now “Young Salem”.

Now, Salem’s early days are explored once more in a special four-issue tale which harkens back to the days when he wasn’t an enchanted feline, but an actual boy wizard! That’s right: in this special storyline we take you back…way back…to when Salem was a little boy! Years later, an ill-conceived plot by Salem will incur the wrath of the leaders of the Magic Realm and lead to his enchanted punishment of spending the rest of his life as a furry feline.

Because a non-furry feline would be gross. Is there a reason they can’t say “cat”? The story is written by Ian Flynn (Sonic), drawn by Chad Thomas. Issue #101 is due out March 25 with a raise in cover price, from $2.25 to $2.50 an issue.

I know various titles were reworked and retitled in the 50s, but is this the first time that someone’s pet kicked a title character out of their comic book?

Similar Posts: Interview with Mike Pellerito, Young Salem Editor § Sabrina the Teenage Witch #72 § Sabrina the Teenage Witch Manga Ends § Sabrina the Teenage Witch #76 § Sabrina the Teenage Witch #78


15 Responses to “Sabrina #101: The Cat Takes Over”

  1. BobH Says:

    “is this the first time that someone’s pet kicked a title character out of their comic book?”

    Surprisingly, no it isn’t.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Streak the Wonder Dog took over the Green Lantern title entirely? Tell me more! And why such a dippy name?

  3. Ed Sizemore Says:

    It’s really heartbreaking to see yet another excellent comic aimed at girls retooled for the boys. I had higher expectations of Archie comics.

  4. Anthony Says:

    “The rest of his life?” Thought he was just turned into a cat for “only” 100 years… or maybe I’m just thinking of the live-action TV show saying as such (where the idea of Salem being a former human came from—before it in the comics/old Filmation cartoons, think he was just an ordinary feline…).

    At any rate, is this the first time they’ve ever shown Salem’s previously-human self? (The live-action TV show IIRC would only show Salem from an obscured angle in flashbacks to his human years…).

  5. Kiki Says:

    I’m willing to give this a try because I like Ian Flynn’s work on Sonic, but I’m curious as to why they just didn’t do a separate mini-series and let Sabrina keep her own book. It’s really strange to have her book reach #100 then kick her out. Did they not know what to do with her once the manga story was over? Has Archie been taking lessons from Marvel and DC?

  6. BobH Says:

    Well, to be fair, Streak didn’t kick GL entirely out of the book, but he did take over the cover for a few issues late in the run, which is close enough.

    And a few years after GL was cancelled, the team that did the Streak stories launched Rex the Wonder Dog in his own series.

  7. Johanna Says:

    Anthony, this is a followup to a story that took place around issue 93 or 94, a flashback to Salem’s human days.

    Kiki, good question. I don’t know. It may be the case that they wanted to run something while they figured out the long-term bigger picture, but that’s pure speculation on my part.

  8. Kiki Says:

    I suppose with the big 100th issue, Salem might be turned back into a human – sort of a reward for helping the Four Blades – which would give “Salem the Early Years” some context. But it still seems strange. Did issue #101 sneak up on them that they didn’t have a plan? I would have thought they’d have been chomping at the bit to introduce whatever new way they were going with Sabrina. It’s an issue number that draws attention.

  9. Rik Says:

    Rest assured that we are not “dumping” our female readers in favor of male readers. In fact we believe our female readers want to read about Salem. He has been an important part of the Sabrina Universe and has an interesting back story.

  10. El Santo Says:

    “Cat” is not nearly as alliterative.

  11. EHH Says:

    Here is what the writer is saying about the project.
    http://www.bumbleking.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1074

  12. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for sharing that link!

  13. Justin Colussy-Estes Says:

    Oh hell, how disappointing. I knew Tania was out after #100, but I had no idea Sabrina would be too.

    And Rik, before you speak on behalf of your female readers, let me tell you that my daughter, an avid Sabrina reader (as in, obsessively rereads her issues over and over again), disliked the Salem flashback issues and will be devastated by this change. It really breaks my heart.

    It kills me that Archie appears to be doing the same thing they did when they brought on Tania del Rio to “manga-ize” Sabrina, namely fad-chasing.

    I work in a children’s bookstore, and let me tell you, the Harry Potter craze is not so crazed anymore. If Archie is lucky, they’ll end up with the same cycle: the new creative team will make some good comics but the support (and thus the sales) won’t be there and Archie will end up flailing around again for the next “just-ended hot thing.”

  14. Interview with Mike Pellerito, Young Salem Editor » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] What’s the premise of the Young Salem storyline? It runs four issues, [...]

  15. Veronica #207-208, aka Kevin Keller #1-2 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] the first time Archie’s used an established title as a pilot springboard. Two years ago, Young Salem was tried out in the Sabrina comic. (Unfortunately, the title was cancelled just after that.) [...]

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