The “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is finally here — but how does the Greendale of the comic books stack up against Netflix’s on-screen version?
The show remains pretty truthful to the comics — which makes sense, considering that the writer of the “Sabrina” graphic novels, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, is also the series’ showrunner — but there are a few notable differences between the Netflix series’ first episode and the first issue of the comics.
See below for the biggest differences.
In the first episode of “CAOS,” Miss Wardell, Sabrina’s favorite teacher, finds what appears to be a young girl on the side of the road, and graciously picks her up and takes her home. We find out that this definitely isn’t an innocent runaway, but a servant of the dark lord. She kills Miss Wardell and takes over her body, in order to get closer to Sabrina.
In the comic version, however, things are even darker.
Two cheerleaders from Riverdale (yes, that Riverdale!) are trying to summon Succubus, the demoness of desire, to help them settle a blood rivalry. Instead, they accidentally conjure up a spirit from the capital of hell. She eats a pregnant doe’s unborn calf, and then is blessed by the blood moon and then spends a year at the bottom of a river.
It’s not until the next issue when we find out that this woman — well, she used to be a woman — was actually Sabrina’s dad’s lover when he met her mortal mom. She was so upset that Edward (who, btw, now lives in a tree) was leaving her, she threw herself into the lion’s cage at the zoo and let herself be ripped apart and eaten by the lions.
She does eventually drag herself out of the river, and long story short, befriends Miss Wardell only to take over her body — similar to the show, though it takes a couple more issues to get there.
“I love you”
In the first episode, Harvey declares his love for Sabrina a few days before her sixteenth birthday, since they won’t be able to celebrate together (you know, cause of her whole Dark Baptism thing).
In the comics, however, Sabrina and Harvey don’t start out together. During Sabrina’s first day at Greendale High, she sees Harvey for the first time and is smitten right away. She’s determined to get the football player to like her, too, and so she and Ambrose conduct a honey jar spell to make him “sweeten” on her. It works, and they make plans to go to the movies.
And while Ambrose doesn’t help her with a charm to woo Harvey in the first episode, he does help her with a spell to frighten her school principle out of commission for a few days.
Sabrina’s cousin Ambrose
In the comics, Ambrose is a teenage Warlock who comes to live with the Spellman sisters and Sabrina after removing a fellow student’s hands at boarding school in England. In the show, Ambrose has been living with them for 75 years, under house arrest. He also has twin snake familiars in the comics, but the serpents are absent from the show.
In the Season 1 premiere, Sabrina spends a good chunk of the episode on the hunt for her Familiar. But in the first issue of the comics, she’s given her Familiar by her Aunts Zelda and Hilda when she’s still a young girl. In the comic books, Salem speaks and has a lot of the snark that viewers loved from Nick Bakay’s Salem in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” But in “Chilling,” Sabrina’s familiar only speaks once, when still in goblin form, and only says her name. The comic book Salem was turned into a cat as punishment for trying to enact the Book of Revelation.
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is now streaming on Netflix.