Thursday, March 31, 2016

Superweek Really Short Reviews: Gotham Academy, Vols. 1 and 2

Gotham Academy, Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy
(Gotham Academy #1-6)
Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher
Release: June 17, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
Welcome to Gotham Academy, the most prestigious school in Gotham City. Only the best and brightest students may enter its halls, study in its classrooms, explore its secret passages, summon its terrifying spirits...

Okay, so Gotham Academy isn't like other schools. But Olive Silverlock isn't like other students. After a mysterious incident over summer break, she's back at school with a bad case of amnesia, an even worse attitude...and an unexplained fear of bats.

Olive's supposed to show new student Maps Mizoguchi the ropes. Problem: Maps is the kid sister of Kyle, Olive's ex. Then there's the ghost haunting the campus...and the secret society conducting bizarre rituals.

Can Olive and Maps ace the biggest challenge of their lives? Or are they about to get schooled?

Collects Gotham Academy #1-6

I have several friends who have been raving about how awesome Gotham Academy is for several months now. I grew up reading all of the Batman comics and watching the old Adam West TV series with my grandfather so I've been a fan for years. After reading the trade of the first six issues, this comic series went immediately on my pull list. What I love the most about this comic series is that it breathes new life into the Batman mythos and gives us a new viewpoint in which to look at my beloved and corrupt Gotham City. This is comic is targeted towards younger readers but it has widespread appeal for readers of all ages. I loved the diversity and the focus on female characters as well as the gothic/Scooby Doo and the gang feel of the whole story line.

We are first introduced to the protagonist Olive Silverlock as she and new student Mia “Maps” Mizoguchi are waiting for a meeting with the Headmaster of Gotham Academy. Olive is directed to show Maps around the campus while avoiding the North Hall. Rumors start to circulate about how the North Hall is haunted and, of course, Olive and Maps get involved in checking it out and assemble quite the ragtag gang consisting of Olive's maybe boyfriend (and Maps's brother), the school's mean goth girl and her nice guy boyfriend, and that one guy at school who can get you anything. Maps is a major RPG nerd and is sometimes too curious for her own good. And she immediately became my favorite! I loved her so much! I actually became quite fond of the whole gang by the end of the trade and I had fun identifying some of the characters who popped up along the way. The surprise guest that appears halfway through is one of my favorite characters from the DC universe!

Gotham Academy Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy is a trade that does not disappoint and lives up to its predecessors in the Batman mythos. Karl Kerschl's manga art-style gave the comic an unique anime-esque feel and was easily the best part of the trade. It fit so well with story that features ghosts, mysterious stalkers, strange afflictions, hidden passages, and hilarious role-playing references all in one place. It is a fun story that has a little something for everyone. I highly recommend it!

  4.5 / 5 Stars

Gotham Academy, Vol. 2: Calamity
(Gotham Academy #7-12)
Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher
Release: March 22, 2016
Gotham Academy is haunted!

At the beginning of the term, Olive Silverlock returned to Gotham Academy a shadow of her former self. But thanks to her new friendships and their Detective Club sleuthing, Olive was finally starting to feel whole again.

Then, abruptly, Olive’s mother died—or, she seemed to. In the weeks after the funeral, Olive begins seeing her mother around the school. An Arkham Asylum patient with a deadly dark side, Sybil Silverlock was a powerful and complicated woman. Could her spirit be reaching out from beyond the grave? And if so, is it motherly Sybil who haunts Olive—or her deadly alter ego Calamity?

Plus, the kids hunt a werewolf on campus and Maps teams up with the Academy’s newest transfer, Damian Wayne!

Collects Gotham Academy #7-12.

Review by Rose Red:

I am so happy to say that this trade was just as good as the first volume! I loved it so much! Olive is still the main protagonist but this volume focused more on Maps! I love that she's bound and determined to figure out every secret Gotham Academy has. And I need more interactions between Maps and Damian Wayne like ASAP! I loved them together! I was also excited to see that Map's brother, Kyle, had more of a role. Unfortunately, Pomeline, Heathcliff, and Colton didn't have as much page time in this volume but what they did have, I loved.

This volume continues the story from volume one and the Detective Club encounters things from cursed pens to werewolves. I really enjoyed the different mysteries that the gang has to solve. In my opinion, the story line was more coherent and just better than in the first issues but the art is still the best part of this series beyond the excellent characters. Seriously. It's absolutely gorgeous and it fits the feel of the series perfectly. I found it interesting to learn more about Olive's family history and most importantly the truth about her mother. While I enjoyed that part of this volume, the Maps and Damien part was my favorite. I will say the cameos from established characters in the Batman universe are still on point. The writers also deserve an A+ with the literature references and I loved how the gang got involved in the school's production of Macbeth.

This comic series continues to be a breath of fresh air and I'm so excited to read more about the future adventures and shenanigans of the Detective Club! I just picked up the single issues to continue the series because I don't want to wait for the next trade.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  4.5 / 5 Stars!

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