Review: Gotham Academy #7
Gotham Academy was undoubtedly one of the biggest surprises from the past year at DC Comics, and really in comics in general. Although it is tied closely enough to the mainstream continuity of DC Comics and especially that of Gotham City, there is also the sense that it stands on its own, telling the story of what some semi-regular kids might think and do in a world where a lot more is possible. While it focuses on the stories of these children, especially that of series lead Olive Silverlock, it also incorporated far stronger characterization than what is often seen in comics. The problem for DC and all of its properties is that Convergence drove a big wedge into all the series, with only a couple getting a chance to receive only a one month break as opposed to the two. Gotham Academy was one such series that had only a one month break, with the Endgame issue occurring during the first month of Convergence.
As the characters return there is one notable addition and one notable absence. The addition should not surprise anyone as Damian Wayne was introduced as the newest student of the academy in the issue that occurred right before the end of Convergence. The absence is more pronounced as the series main character Olive is gone for the entire issue. Instead what transpires is the addition of Damian into the group in an unexpected way. As a comic book character, Batman mostly relies on fact over fantasy, and so while things like aliens and magic exist in his stories, they take a back seat to science and logic. The same has held true for Gotham Academy as the ghosts and magic of the academy grounds have often been proven with other means than simply saying that they are supernatural. In this case, Damian and Maps are inexplicably held together by the hand as they attempt to combat an ancient curse on the Wayne family.
While this issue was entertaining, it also comes off as being a relative piece of fluff compared to what has come before in the series. The celebrity guest is given star status, as the series’ main character is missing. The story is fun, but little more than that, as it feels as though it could have easily been ripped from the pages of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys and then condensed into a single comic issue. There were some fun moments, and it was nice to see some of the focus on Maps as well, but this nonetheless feels only like an interlude.
Story: Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher Art: Mingjue Helen Chen
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read