Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #6 Review: How Salem Came To Be

The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #6 focuses on the origins of everyone’s favorite feline familiar, Salem. It doesn’t start as you might expect—with a simple flashback to the event and little to no time set in the present. Instead, it begins with Ambroses’s familiars, Nag and Nagaina, telling Salem how they came to be snakes. Similar to Salem, they were transformed after grievous misdeeds.

Your daily dose of nightmare fuel.
Salem’s tale begins, appropriately enough, roughly before the Salem witch trials. As it happens, he stayed with the family of John Proctor and even had relations with Abigail. After she becomes pregnant, he callously refuses to help her in her time of need. Abigail spits on him and hopes that he becomes cursed, but—curiously enough—does nothing after that. I like the fact that the scene outright addresses the awful conditions for women in that time period. Abigail is a single, pregnant woman in a male-dominated society; keep in mind that pregnancy was something that could only be discussed after marriage (the stigma against premarital pregnancy arguably persists to this day). Her only option would be to get rid of the child and the story implies that the method of doing so is gruesome.

K-I-S-S-I-N-G in a culture of M-I-S-O-G-Y-N-Y
Salem agrees to meet up with another woman near the lake, but it turns out that it’s actually Abigail and a group of fellow witches. Oh, and they’re naked. OH, and a naked demon goat is there, standing on his hind legs. The goat is actually Satan and Abigail was slated to marry him. For obvious reasons, I am not going to share this panel. Instead, here's a picture of Salem from the live-action television show.

See, isn't this much more cheerful?
The witches turn him into a cat and take him home to act as a pet. Once the witch trials start happening, Satan returns, gives Salem the power to speak in a human tongue, and orders him to serve witches until a certain prophecy is fulfilled. Said prophecy happens to revolve around protecting Sabrina, a witch “who is both less than a witch and more.”

"And you must be a snarky cat, for humor makes difficult situations bearable. I should know, I laugh at my underlings all the time."
After Salem pads off to meet with Sabrina, he finds her talking to the resurrected corpse of Harvey. Of course, she doesn’t know that her father is alive—in Harvey’s body. The scene is actually the same one from the last issue’s ending, but from Salem’s point of view. Looks like Salem is going to get off his furry butt and actually do something.

The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #6 is a very intense read, but an engaging one. I enjoyed learning more of Salem’s backstory, although I do wish that part of it had to do with trying to take over the world. Pick it up, but be warned: it’s not for the faint of heart.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or the Harry Potter books.