Review: Gotham Academy #2
Already only on the second issue and this series seems to have a cult following, and for good reason. The first issue of Gotham Academy introduced the main characters, including series protagonist, but it is this second issue where even more of the novelty of this series comes alive. Olive Silverlock is still struggling to fit in both with her fellow students as she tries to remember what happened the previous summer. She also starts to unravel an unknown mystery first as it pertains to the supposed ghost haunting the academy but then to something else altogether.
If I were forced to give a brief description of this series I would say that it is like Morning Glories crossed with Batman, but if that comparison holds then it even does so for the better of this series by taking the better of both of those elements. Morning Glories can be confusing with its intricate plots focused on a variety of characters dancing through dreams and time and so the presence of Gotham and Batman, widely considered to be the most realistic of superhero settings, makes this story more grounded and real. The mysteries which Olive faces seems like they could almost happen to anybody not just someone living in Gotham. Equally, while Gotham is here, it really isn’t at the same time, at least not to bog down the story in the old instead of focusing on the new. Perhaps DC Comics was playing it safe in the first issue with at least an appearance by Bruce Wayne, but here the Gotham related plot elements are more subtle and organic to the story, with reference to the Cobblepots and to bats, and without an out-of-place cameo.
The end result is somewhat unexpected as this second issue is even better than the first, having lost none of the novelty and even picking up some momentum. The main characters are fleshed out as the story progresses, and the creative team is clever in leading Olive around the grounds of Gotham Academy, allowing the reader to discover its secrets alongside the heroine. The main concern that I have with this issue is the same as with the first issue, that DC is interested in quantity over quality, in that it cancels a lot of good titles just because they aren’t selling well, and that could be the case here as well. Regardless comic fans are at a loss if they are to let this series die an early death, it is really one of the most innovative series to come out of DC in years and deserves a chance.
Story: Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher Art: Karl Kerschl
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy