Cousin Ambrose from Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the rock n’ roll, house robe-wearing cool warlock, who is also a great confidante and advisor to his cousin Sabrina. He’s obviously much older than he looks, is a total trouble maker, and has even had a rebellious history, including blowing up the Vatican and whatnot.
But in the comics, he wasn’t always this cool necromancer ally to Sabrina. In fact, in some of his appearances, he was a middle-aged moustachioed man, who was almost like a father figure to the teenage witch. And though the new pansexual warlock version of Ambrose is a hit with the viewers, there are certain things about Ambrose’s history that only the comic readers of the franchise will know.
Ambrose has been reimagined several times in the Sabrina comics, and weirdly enough in all of these reiterations, he plays Sabrina’s cousin. In fact, in the 2013 animated series too, he is Sabrina’s first cousin who is a 15-year-old warlock-in-training and is really scared of ice giants.
In the 1970s comics, Ambrose much older than Sabrina and quite socially awkward, and has a very different character profile from the cool, icy Ambrose of the Netflix series. The comics essentially presented Ambrose like a father figure, unlike in the new show where Ambrose is a more compatible ally.
Readers of the ‘70s Sabrina comics can’t be blamed for being shocked at cousin Ambrose’s Netflix glow-up since it’s quite a change. The ’70s Ambrose was a hefty, middle-aged man with a big mustache who was much older than Sabrina. He only reluctantly helped her in her quests and was actually quite old school.
But like the 2020 Ambrose, the retro version of the character was also fond of carrying out erratic experiments that would often go wrong.
Sabrina’s broomstick is a pretty pivotal part of the ’90s comics, and it was Ambrose who first shows Sabrina the broom that she was about to receive in her dark baptism. In Issue #3, when Ambrose and Sabrina are discussing her upcoming baptism, he asks her if she knows what her aunts are getting her as a gift.
He then leads her to their embalming room to show her the broom they had hidden there to keep it a secret from Sabrina. “Your aunts commissioned it from a shaman in Northern England, hand-carved from wood that was scavenged from the scaffolds in 1692,” he tells her as he hands her the broom, possibly referring to the Salem witchcraft.