Come closer and we’ll tell some scary stories in Gotham Academy Endgame #1 that is…if you can handle it. Everyone is Jokerized but Olive, Pomeline and Maps are safe locked the school gym while a caped figure protects the school. To pass the time they tell Joker-ish themed horror stories. Written by Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher with art by Jeff Stokley and colors by Jenny Donovan. There is additional split art and writing duties for each story; Pomeline’s story written and drawn by Clio Chiang, Professor Macphearson’s story by Joy Ang, and Olive’s story by Vera Broscol and colors by Sonia Oback.
The stories are fun and interesting, each with their own distinct flavor. Pomeline’s is about a haunted mask, rendered in gorgeous watercolors. Clio Chiang is very talented, reminiscent of Dustin Nguyen’s watercolor work but with its own unique flair. Professor Macphearson’s story about a demonic jester is appropriately creepy with sparse but creepy art for Joy Ang. Olive’s story comes from her mom and follows a school-yard “repeat x in the mirror x amount of times” urban legend. The issue ends with the caped figure being revealed to be creepy Headmaster Hammer
Really not much to critique here as the story is very one and done and doesn’t have much bearing to the rest of the series like much of these Endgame issues. This does rather well because they are consisted of stories within stories and fits the situation. Revealing Headmaster Hammer as more nimble and heroic than he may seem is a nice touch and I’m curious what that might mean for him in the future. Jeff Stokley is not as good of an artist as Karl Kerschl.
For an Endgame issue this one is nice. I like one and done stories and would love to see them more from DC.