There’s enough pressure being the new kid in school, but what if you found out you looked identical to a student who’s gone missing? In An Unkindness of Ravens #1 by writer Dan Panosian and illustrator Marianna Ignazzi, new high schooler Wilma holds a strong resemblance to a missing poster of Waverly Good. Is it a coincidence or is there something not quite right about the town of Crab Eye? Filled with secrets, witches, and the pressures of being a high school teenager, this book is one you won’t want to pass on.
The story centers around Wilma, a new student at Dansforth High School. In the first issue, we watch her navigate her way around the usual tropes that often plague new people including dealing with cool kids, the weird kids, the most popular girl in school, and of course the occasional jock/bully. But why should you read An Unkindness of Ravens? Well, for starters, the premise talks about a very popular topic, especially this time of year: the Salem Witch Trials.
Going back to the 1600s, numerous events and occurrences surrounding the Salem Witch Trials are still debated on even today. Panosian does a remarkable job of giving the reader a summary of both the witch trials and the town of Crab Eye. This helps establish the setting early on, and makes it clear that this is going to be a story about witches and magic.
Aside from that, the first issue does a good job of raising a lot of unanswered questions, like: where is Waverly Good? Why does Wilma look like her? We’re introduced to a lot of characters rather fast so you don’t get to learn about many of them in the first book, but I’m sure the second entry will touch on this. If you’re a big fan of pop culture, this book feels like the lovechild of Clueless and The Craft.
The illustrations provided by Ignazzi set a cool vibe for the story, providing a Riverdale or Chilling Adventures of Sabrina type of setting. This lets the reader know that this is going to be a story that’s serious but still has the occasional joke or silly moment. The book is also a great depiction of the real world, so there is a lot of diversity within the character designs.
An Unkindness of Ravens #1 is a book worth checking out. It’s got some amazing colors courtesy of Fabiana Mascolo and the entire team working on this book is awesome. It has great pacing, decent dialogue, and is overall a solid read. You’ll want to add it to your list during your next trip to the comic shop.