Sabrina TV Reboot: 5 Ways Salem Differs From The Comics (& 5 Ways He’s The Same)

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a golden egg for Netflix. The show premiered and made fans appreciate this version of their favorite teenage witch.

One thing that the creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa made sure to do was to bring back some version of Salem. This loveable, feisty black cat is too important to just forget about altogether. Not only is Sabrina’s BFF familiar in the new series, but he was also an integral part of the original comic books, the Chilling Adventure comic books, and the Melissa Joan Hart's version of the TV show.

Aguirre-Sacasa isn’t one to introduce a character without a little bit of a shake-up, he has tweaked Salem just a tad to add a certain something to the show. He kept most of the best parts about Salem but changed up a few things while adding new things to make him even better.

10. He Is A Guide

In the original Sabrina, Salem was somewhat of a guide to the teenage witch. He wasn’t as loyal as he is in the show, meaning he still had a bit of independence and wasn’t necessarily at Brina’s beck and call. However, he was there to make sure she knew the rules of being a witch, to teach her right from wrong, and to let her know when evil was among them. He still does that now, but he is more intense about it now. His sole purpose in life is to be Brina’s protector, amplified by like, a thousand. It’s refreshing to see at least one person on her side, seeing as most people are out there to solely harm this teenager.

9. He’s Still A Jerk… To Some People

Even though Salem isn’ the familiar talking cat that everyone is used to from the comics and the TV show, he hasn’t lost that jerky charm that everyone loves. He doesn't speak, but his presence speaks volumes. The way that he tackles people out of Brina’s way, and is constantly a thorn in the side of the people who are trying to cause harm to her, is essentially the same Salem we know and love from the comic books. This time around, he isn’t necessarily teaching her life lessons as opposed to cleaning up her messy life choices, but he does it in a way that makes us all love how hard he goes for her.

8. He’s Paranoid

Salem’s first appearance as a goblin-like creature is one that comes with paranoia and skepticism. If you were a fan of the comic book or the show, you know that original Salem was paranoid about a lot of things.

In the show, he was always worried that Zelda and Hilda were going to banish him for doing something wrong. He didn’t want to get sent back to the higher ups and have to answer to his crimes. Hence the reason for his constant sneaking around when he was doing something unsavory.

Similarly, in the CAOS, he is the same way. His loyalty is partially out of fear that he will no longer have someone to bond with if Sabrina decides that she wants a more “traditional” familiar, like a spider.

7. He Still Loves Meat

In the comic and TV show, Salem shows signs of being a regular cat by eating fish and meat. He still does this, but rumor has it that he is eating human flesh or the other animals... This makes a lot of sense seeing as he is a goblin-like creature who has survived in a dark, eerie forest for most of his life. What would we assume he would eat? He is an animal who has been surviving on his own for all these years (probably decades). Even now, he is still surviving on his own, only he now he has the responsibility of showing up for Sabrina when he is needed.

6. He Has That White Patch Of Fur

The original Salem in the comic book wasn’t entirely black. He had a white patch of fur on his chest that leads up to about mid-neck. This is the representation of Salem that walked down the black carpet at the premiere of the TV show in early October. The cat wasn’t quite as furry, but he did don a little cat tuxedo and was way more well behaved than we imagined Salem the cat could ever be. This gave fans hope that creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa was really trying to stick to what the fans of the comic know and love. We can only hope that somehow Salem in the show eventually transforms into this version of Salem.

5. Hilda And Zelda Don’t Like Him

Well, more so Zelda. But then again, she seems to hate everything Sabrina related. The evilest of the two aunts was basically horrified when Sabrina chose a mere cat as her guide. Why not a rat or a snake? She finds it terribly weird and unlike any witch she has seen before. Hilda is a little more accepting and significantly less evil than Zelda; she actually has Sabrina’s best interest at heart (most of the time). She isn’t too concerned with who she chooses as her animal guide because she knows there are bigger fish to fry.

4. He Wasn’t Turned Into A Cat

In the comics and original TV show, we find out that Salem was a warlock — one of the best to be exact. He was turned into a cat for trying to take over the world. That sounds like something the original Salem would do. His powers were stripped and he was forced to live out the rest of his days without magic — living as a mundane cat who basically was being watched over by Hilda and Zelda. In the CAOS, he is simply a cat who she called upon to be her animal guide, or so the viewers are meant to think.

3. He Isn’t The Family Pet

In CAOS, Salem is Sabrina’s animal guide (or "familiar") and completely her responsibility. He is only loyal to her and will do whatever he can at all costs to protect her. It is his job, after all. In the original comic and TV show, he is the family pet, more so beloved the most by Zelda. He and Sabrina had a love/hate relationship because Salem always took it upon himself to greet her with a smart remark or insult the everyday decisions she made. Their bond in CAOS is like nothing fans have ever seen before. Even in the original 1960s comic, their friendship was sometimes met with contention. It’s odd to see them so bonded.

2. He Is More Than Just A Cat In CAOS

The fans have been introduced to a version of Salem that is on another level. He presents himself as a cat, but is really a goblin-like creature that is scary AF. His true form is hidden, and this means that he is in a better position to take care of Sabrina like he was always meant to. Fans don’t get to see his true form 'till much later, but we see shadows of it; he even speaks when he is in his goblin-like form. The first time we see what Salem can really do is when he protects Sabrina at the apple farm. We don’t fully see what he does, but we do know that he messes some people up and completely gains our trust in a world where everyone seems to be against the teenage witch.

1. New Salem Doesn’t Talk… Yet

Fans were upset to learn that Salem the cat doesn’t talk. This is one of the features of our furry friend that people loved from the comic books and the Melissa Joan Hart helmed '90s show. So why doesn’t Salem talk? Why take away this trait? According to creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, a talking Salem isn’t something he has ruled out. In fact, he even hints at the idea of Salem talking in the near future. He realized what a benefit this was to the original Sabrina, and to be honest, he believes if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So for those of you who haven’t had the luxury of bingeing this lovely show, keep watching, trust us.

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