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Review: Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #1

LJGothamAcademy_001_A_MainLumberjanes and Gotham Academy are two series that launched around the same time that practically go hand in hand. While the settings and tone can sometimes be drastically different, the two series excel at being adventure books that readers of all ages and genders can enjoy.

So what about the recently released first issue of the crossover then? Is it like peanut butter and chocolate?

Well, not yet. But it could be.

Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy opens with a reason to bring the two series together. At the Academy, Olive is late turning in a paper to Professor MacPherson, but finds her to be missing from her office with only an old birthday party invitation the Detective Club finds to go on. Meanwhile, something happens to Rosie, which puts Jen in the position to go and find her in the woods. Of course, where Jen goes, the Lumberjanes follow and this sets them up perfectly to find the Detective Club looking for MacPherson.

It’s very easy to tell that this series is starting off on Lumberjanes rules. The Gotham Academy kids come to them and whatever terror is in the woods, it might be more related to what the Lumberjane scouts experience at camp. Maybe. Even the art feels a bit more like the usual styles Lumberjanes readers have come accustomed to with Rosemary Valero-O’Connell’s soft lines and Whitney Cogar’s bright forest-y colors. I wish there was a bit more variation on Valero-O’Connell’s interpretation of the Lumberjanes, but it’s certainly interesting to see her take on the Detective Club after Karl Kerscl and Mingjue Helen Chen’s art over at Gotham Academy. As for writer Chynna Clugston Flores, it seems like she has a bit more of a grip on the Lumberjanes so far, but time will tell once it gets rolling how her take on the Detective Club pays off.

Most of this first issue is set up, so there’s not a lot of moments between the Detective Club and Lumberjanes, which is a bit of a disappointment. However, there are great small moments like April proving why she’s the Pungeon Master, Pomeline being frightened by Bubbles, and Ripley and Maps having an instant bond, surprising exactly no one. The most intriguing part though is the set up for Jen to find out about Olive’s powers, which ends the issue. Curiouser and curiouser…

While it is mostly building the foundation for the rest of the story, Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #1 is certainly an interesting set-up that leaves the reader curious as to what will happen next. A lot of the issue felt like it was playing by the rules of the Lumberjanes Scout Guide, which will hopefully get a bit of a shakeup by the next issue as the Scouts get to know the Club a bit more. Either way, this should hopefully turn out to be fun. Weird ghouls and all.

Story: Chynna Clugston Flores Art: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Maddi Gonzalez, Whitney Cogar
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Boom! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review