Happy New Comic Book Day! Yes, I am aware that this comic book came out last week but if you haven’t picked it up yet, then I suggest you do so ASAP. Now, I don’t usually review a lot of single issues since I prefer reading trades but I had to make an exception for this awesome first issue of Gotham Academy.
Billed as a “teen drama set in the shadow of Batman and the craziness of Gotham City” when it was first announced, I was a little hesitant that it would be too soap opera-like. I shouldn’t have worried because despite some clichés it’s Hogwarts in Gotham City, which definitely works. The first thing you notice is the art by Karl Kerschl. It’s just gorgeous. I like the look of the characters, the colors and the creative panels. I mean just look at this splash page:
The characters, the setting and the seeds of the plot are introduced in this first issue and it will definitely leave you wanting more. I’m already in love with mysterious main heroine Olive Silverlock and her friendship with her ex-boyfriend’s sister Maps Mizoguchi (nice to see some diversity). I like the fact that Maps isn’t relegated to being Olive’s sidekick. At least in this issue, Maps takes the lead in exploring the school. With a fun dynamic between them, I’m very much looking forward to their adventures. Hopefully we get to see Kyle in the next issue. Basically something happened to Olive that’s made her the school weirdo, leaving her relationship with boyfriend Kyle up in the air and the mystery of her mother yet to be revealed.
Of course no book set in Gotham is complete without the obligatory mention of Batman, the appearance of the Bat-Signal or the appearance of Bruce Wayne and the trifecta is present in the issue, reminding us that we’re very much in the Bat-universe. Bruce turns out to be the benefactor of the Academy, which means he might make more cameos in future issues. Personally I didn’t really miss ol’ Bats since I thought the story was doing just fine without him. We’ll see how Cloonan and Fletcher balance the story moving forward.
Once again, you should definitely add this to your pull list. It’s a welcome addition to the usually dark and gloomy Bat Family. Happy Hump Day!