A forever in-work compendium of Marvel and DC canon immigrants. What's a canon immigrant? Go here to find out!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Independent Month Appearance/Backstory Spotlight: Salem the Cat

It's Independent Month here at Jor-Ellis Island! As I stated back in the Thirty Days of Turtles, I want to start branching out this blog beyond Marvel and DC. It won't happen often because I'm not as familiar with other comics companies and I'm not sure they take to immigrants as well as Marvel and DC do, but I will be on the lookout for them in the future. They won't always be in a theme month like this, I don't think, but we'll see how it goes. Let's get to it!

Sabrina the Teenage Witch first debuted in Archie's Madhouse #22 (August 1962) in a story that was meant to be a one-off. The character was very popular, however, and gained multiple series of her own over time, not to mention several tv shows. Since the beginning, she's had a pet cat named Salem.

If you're mainly familiar with Sabrina through her ABC series, that picture was probably surprising to you. It will also surprise you to learn that Salem was just a regular cat. He couldn't even talk. For those of you who aren't familiar with that show, Salem was a black cat. And more than that, he was a former wizard named Salem Saberhagan who was cursed to be a cat for making moves on the wrong witch.

Until the live-action series, Sabrina had not had a comic series in over ten years. But a new one started because of the show, and - wisely - it instituted some changes to make it better match the television series.

I can't find specific issues for when changes to his backstory took place, but luckily for me, it's still in effect even in alternate realities. In Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6 (July 2016), we get Salem's backstory and it's pretty much exactly the same, only his name is Samuel and it's told in a more adult way.

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