Review: Gotham Academy #4
For those that have been reading along with the series or at least following the buzz, they might think that this is a series with a set shelf life, that after a certain amount of time that there are going to be enough mysteries solved that Gotham’s own version of Nancy Drew is simply going to run out of interesting stories. For any that were thinking this, who thought that issue #3 signaled the start of a downwards spiral for this series, they can instead rest assured that there is still lots of story left to tell in this series, as the compelling mysteries are not one but many.
The presence of the ghost hunt in the previous issue might have seemed like the end of the glue that held the first story together, but the writers prove that they are not afraid to diversify a bit here, not only in terms of content but also context. While the previous issues dealt with Olive and Maps searching for answers for secrets that they nothing about, here the secrets become a lot deeper as Olive especially is forced to deal with new mysteries such as secret symbols, secret passageways and trying to figure out exactly why Bruce Wayne is so interested in her. In so doing the characterization here is amazing, and it pays good homage to its intended demographic by not treating its main characters as stereotypes of this age bracket (what was particularly on the mark was what Maps wished for on her birthday.) This realistic approach to the characters is what makes this series more approachable for all-ages to dive into.
The creative team proves here that they have a lot left in this series. Far from being a drop off in quality this issue might be the best so far, especially as the shock value has worn off from the first few issues for those that thought that such a series could never be good or entertaining. Indeed this is one of the best issues that DC has on offer from its wide selection of titles. It is still tied to superheroes and belongs in the DC Universe, but at the same time it mostly doesn’t and stands on its own by itself as well.
Story: Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher Art: Karl Kerschl
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy