Halloween Special: Witches

by James Jou

113319_b9f26301032c5322c512129640d4669ba5f865fc-150x150 Halloween Special:  WitchesWhat is Halloween without the witch and broomstick silhouette decoration that seems to pop up all over the place? It’s almost as if by magic… or a cheap, copyright-free image that companies like to use. Either way, witches are indeed a crucial component of Halloween. Keeping with the holiday, here we will showcase a few witch-themed comic books.  Random question:  Anyone give out comics to trick-or-treaters?

 

 

113319_b9f26301032c5322c512129640d4669ba5f865fc-211x300 Halloween Special:  WitchesSUPERMAN’S GIRLFRIEND, LOIS LANE #1 (1958)

“The Witch of Metropolis” story begins with Lois Lane on assignment covering a new museum opening; the exhibits are based around old supernatural artifacts and superstitions, all which fail to be taken seriously by Lois. Instead, Lois’ attention lies with her next interview, a biologist working on a youth serum. Unfortunately, the exposure to fumes in the biologist’s lab ends up changing Lois’ look into a witch-like appearance later that night. At first, she roams around town to avoid being seen in the condition, but a run-in with some criminals pushes her to try out her magical witch powers. To her surprise, Lois is able to deflect the bullets.

Over the next few days, Lois appears normal during the day but changes into a witch at night. She begins using her newfound magical powers to gain an advantage in her job as a reporter; getting the scoop before Clark. The powers begin to corrupt Lois to the point that she even considers using kryptonite (that she made appear in thin air) on Clark to finally solve her suspicion that he’s secretly Superman. She stops short and begins to breakdown over the possibility that she might be turning evil. Seeing her sadness, Superman admits that he had previously followed up with the scientist and found out that the appearance-changing side effects of the serum were only temporary; and furthermore, that all the magic Lois was performing was actually Superman orchestrating everything.

 

“Hix-hox-hex! Away, flying broom stick! Hee-hee hee!” – Lois Lane

 

 

225937_86449ea9e6203c22cbebc9aac6ce1772b3bcfeb4-203x300 Halloween Special:  WitchesARCHIE’S MADHOUSE #22 (1962)

Long before the 1970s animated series or the 1990s TGIF series starring Melissa Joan Hart, the first appearance of Sabrina the Teen-age Witch occurred in the comic book Archie’s Madhouse #22 (1962). On a side note, the creator George Gladir named Sabrina after someone he once knew; but he accidentally misremembered Sabra as Sabrina. Back to Archie’s Madhouse #22, the issue opens by introducing Sabrina to us as a “modern witch,” who enjoys life far different from the stereotypical castles and cauldrons. Under the orders of her head witch Della, Sabrina is given the assignment of hexing the high school that she attends; all while avoiding being discovered as a witch. Sabrina’s debut issue ends with the temptation of falling in love, which has the drawback of causing a witch to lose her powers.258326_535284ffa2f366f05033829abb6657b43d254824-207x300 Halloween Special:  Witches

The highest sale of note for Archie’s Madhouse #22 is a CGC 9.2 graded copy that sold for $8,100 in late 2018. Compared to this, Sabrina’s first self-titled series Sabrina, The Teen-Age Witch #1 (1971) is a bit more affordable, with the latest CGC 9.8 slab sold for $2,200 in early 2019.

 

“We modern witches believe life should be a ball!” – Sabrina

 

 

117835_c21aca207f7c33cfb4f4a070f8006b7c0f26b0bd-204x300 Halloween Special:  WitchesDETECTIVE COMICS #336 (1965)

When Batman and Robin try to stop a bank robbery, they find it impossible to apprehend the criminals because a witch has stolen the duo’s “sense of touch.” Their hands just pass through the criminals. Batman and Robin continue their chase, but at every turn, the witch complicates their efforts by taking away another one of their senses. As if that wasn’t enough, the witch ultimately turns Batman into a scarecrow. Fortunately, Robin gets a hunch that the source of the witch’s powers is her broomstick. He pulls her off it with his Bat-Rope and saves the day. The issue ends with the cliffhanger of a mysterious voice coming from the broomstick, yup out of the broomstick, that reveals himself to be the Outsider and the one that gave the witch the broomstick.119396_e100749558bda235163de765c56f7c081340796f-203x300 Halloween Special:  Witches

The interesting thing with Detective Comics #336 is that the witch in the story was later retroactively changed to be Zatanna in disguise. The problem is that outside of both characters being witches, there really is no other contextual evidence to suggest any connection. Even the powers and mechanisms of the powers don’t match up. The prevailing theory is that the retconning was just a way to give reason for why Batman was present/included in Zatanna’s Search story of Justice League of America #51 (1967).

 

“All is lost, Batman! Now I shall take away the last of your senses – The taste of victory! Hee! Hee!” – The Witch

 

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