Something spooky’s going on in GOTHAM ACADEMY #2 written by Brenden Fletcher & Becky Cloonan with art by Karl Kerschl, and you shouldn’t miss it.
That something spooky is Miss Olive Silverlock; our silver haired heroine is broody, moody, and depressed. Something happened over the summer; something including her mother, and it’s apparently changed everything. Antagonism from Pomeline, a bossy snobbish classmate isn’t helping. The Hogwarstian Gotham Academy is pretty much a dream school; gothic, huge old books with mysterious (and plot important! maps), mysterious blonde boys with solid red eyes (wait what?). Secret student (bat) cults! Olive, is less than enthused, but we certainly are.
GOTHAM ACADEMY is admittedly, not entirely unique; a lot of the personalities here are pretty stock tropes; you have the girl with the chip on her shoulder, the friendly jock, the ‘genki’ girl, the school snob, etc. I have a feeling, and hope, that there’s a lot more than what we currently see. And we will, because thus far GOTHAM ACADEMY excels at not showing all of its cards so quickly. Everyone knows something happened. We don’t know what. Chances are it involved her mother. Olive has a lot of baggage, and given she’s got the Rei Ayanami treatment regarding her hair and eyes and really is not liking things to do with bats, chances are there’s some supernatural elements to the mix. Their obscurity here is good, at least I think so. The boy with the red eyes this issue that she sees in the library is a subtle clue at what’s to come. At least I hope so. And once mysteries and things get revealed people will get rounder as more and more secrets come clean. Oh right. By the way; Olive can walk through fire.
Art is gorgeous, paneling is often rather open and horizontal, but not afraid to experiment too much without being inaccessible. It’s very stylish. One funny thing, the unmoving plaid pattern used for their uniforms could be sloppy on other art but it comes off as a bit quirky here given the buttery animated feel the book has otherwise. No really though the color palettes and lighting in this comic are really nice, stylized for sure, but that’s what I’m into.
Not enough Maps! Actually no this issue was fine. A bit slow. But its slowly building its cast; we were introduced to three students this issue, plus Olive’s teacher. For all its trope-yness I do appreciate this creative team and what they’re doing. It’s a lot better than other portrayals of teenagers done at DC and while it’s not quite on Ms. Marvel level of savviness it is certainly funny and people will appreciate a lot of these moments. So once again, here’s me writing about positives in the negatives section.
Pick it up. Just like voting, the more you support this the more DC will be willing to experiment with more self sustaining and less superhero focused fare. This is the stuff that could become big media franchises! Help it do that!