Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SPOILERS: Gotham Academy #1

Welcome to Gotham Academy, quite possibly the most unique monthly book DC is currently publishing. Yep, only took one issue to get to that point.

The Spoilers:

Meet Olive Silverlock, Sophmore at Gotham Academy, who is appointed "nanny" to new Freshman Maps Mizoguchi, who just so happens to be her ex-ish-boyfriend's little sister. Olive's got a lot of problems on her plate, so the last thing she wants to do is babysit the overly enthusiastic Maps. What else has Olive got going on? Well, that's a bit of a mystery... Something happened to her over the summer, but we don't know what... It may have something to do with her mom or Bats... but we'll see. Nevertheless, she's acting super down and feels alienated from everyone else at the school.

Did I mention the school is supposed to be haunted? There's that too.

Anyways! Despite Maps' attempts to rekindle her friendship with Olive, there just isn't much happening in that department. That is, until Olive realizes how she's acting, and offers Maps an opportunity to skip the assembly and explore the school. Long story short, they climb up an old tower, and Maps almost falls off, leaving Olive to rescue her, and eventually interrupt the assembly's speaker, Bruce Wayne, a benefactor of the school. 

No one gets in too much trouble, but Olive does freak out a bit when she thinks she sees Batman, but it's really just Bruce (HAHA, GET IT!?) checking to make sure she's alright. When Olive gets back to  her dorm, she finds her roommate cowering under a blanket, claiming she saw the ghost. Olive tries to calm Lucy down, but there definitely is something watching them from a crack in the wall.


The Review:

I have a feeling that if this book came out a couple years ago, I'd be super cynical towards it and its existence. The title just doesn't fit in the Gotham lineup of books... But that's why it's so great today. New 52 or not, DC books were starting to get pretty damn tired. Nearly every book had a similar structure, stories were blending together, and everything was becoming sort of blah... Then the Gotham books started getting interesting, and Gotham Academy was by far the most out there of all the new series and concepts. Standing out from the crowd is definitely a good start with me, but on top of all that, this first issue was just charming as all hell from the characters to the art, which often looks like animation cells rather than comic panels. What has me most intrigued with the book is the potential it has to do cool stuff with the Gotham setting. Low hanging fruit suggestion: Someone is the son/daughter of a family who has an affinity for owls. What wold you do with that in the school setting? Hell if I know, but the book is ripe for having a bunch of cool little Gotham easter eggs like that, which I hope the creative team takes full advantage of.

Look, I know Gotham Academy is probably out of a lot of people's wheelhouse... but as someone who is often a cynical comics bastard, I set aside all expectations and came away pleasantly surprised and charmed by this first offering. Give it a shot, I doubt you won't like it.


  1. If the writers wanted to get SUPER Gotham/Batman nerdy, they could also delve into more of the families referenced in Snyder's pre-Court of Owls story, Gates of Gotham. That and the connections between the Kanes and Waynes... and Elliots. So many possibilities.

    1. Hey, sorry if this isn't the right space to post this, but it seems as good as any since it's Gotham-centric. I know you probably don't need any more to do, but just curious if you're watching the 'Gotham' TV show. If so, maybe you could consider doing reviews of that as well. From literary, to TV critic...

  2. I won't mind if they have Bruce cameos but I'm glad they got him out of the way in a simple way, so they can now chose whether or not to bring him in.