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Review: Gotham Academy #3

Gotham Academy 003 - covAlready in its third issue, something has become clear with this series so far.  Although it is based in Gotham, the closer that this ties into Gotham’s superheroes, the weaker the story ends up being.  It is not that this was a weak issue, but it was the most directionless of the three so far, and due in part to the return of Batman into the fray.  Here Olive is joined by one time enemies and now allies in her quest to find out exactly what is happening in the North Hall.  She does this in a variety of ways, partially by using her contacts from detention to her benefit, but also by using her friendship with Maps to get closer to the mystery than she had been before.

Throughout this issue there are a lot of touching moments which work well towards Olive’s character development, but fitting with the series, even those seem to be a little mysterious.  A confrontation with her boyfriend leads to an admission about what happened to her the previous summer, or did it?  And the same happens when she manages to sneak into the North Hall.  There is more there than what she bargained for, but the reader is still not even sure what they are seeing, which incidentally ties them closer to Olive, who has the same problem of not fully understanding what is going on.  This duality between reader and main character can be difficult to achieve, but it works here, as once again as with the previous issue, the reader is working through the mystery surrounding Olive alongside her.

In the end the issue is still a standout, only that it does not reach the same balance as the previous issues.  For a character that has been thrown into the lead in a new series, Olive has been a great mix of interesting character development combined with a plot worthy of such a deep and compelling character.  The problem here is not so much an absence of either the character development or the novelty of the plot, rather as opposed to the previous two issues, the two elements seemed to be more separated.  This series is still one of the stand-outs for DC Comics, and it is only be comparison to the excellent first two issues that this one comes up a bit short, as it still fits in with the overall high quality of writing and artwork so far in this series.

Story: Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher Art: Karl Kerschl
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

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