It’s not hard to identify Aguirre-Sacasa’s influences for this issue, which tracks the story of Sabrina (the teenage witch) following her brief appearance earlier in the story.
The issue is Lovecraftian homage, sort of by way of The Wicker Man, which works out splendidly.
In some ways, the issue should be predictable to Lovecraft afficonados, with Aguirre-Sacasa hitting a lot of familiar notes. It’s just the presence of Sabrina–as she tries to figure out what’s going on (is naming her doctor Lovecraft just homage or is there more to it)–it distracts from the narrative beats. Even for someone who’s never read Lovecraft, just seen or read a handful of adaptations. Aguirre-Sacasa knows what he’s doing.
And Francavilla does a beautiful, beautiful job. It’s gorgeous and tragic. Aguirre-Sacasa’s script has some dream sequences and flashbacks so Francavilla gets a whole bunch to draw.
Betty: R.I.P., Chapter One: Witch in the Dream House; writer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; artist and colorist, Francesco Francavilla; letterer, Jack Morelli; editor, Jamie Lee Rotante; publisher, Archie Comics.