Gotham Academy 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy

gotham academy volume 1 welcome to gotham academy trade paperback
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Fun young adult title

Could get caught up in its own cleverness as the series progresses

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Gotham Academy

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Becky Cloonan/Brenden Fletcher

Artist:  Karl Kerschl/Mingjue Helen Chen

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2015

gotham academy #2 cover

Gotham Academy #2

Reprints Gotham Academy #1-6 (December 2014-May 2015).  Olive Silverlock finds herself at a new school year at Gotham Academy after an eventful summer that she can’t entirely remember.  Olive finds herself bullied and her mother’s troubled past doesn’t help.  When a series of mysteries arise at the school, Olive finds herself teamed with “Maps” Mizoguchi (the sister of her ex) to try to find out if Gotham Academy is haunted…but Olive might uncover what she can’t remember about the summer.

Written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher, Gotham Academy Volume 1:  Welcome to Gotham Academy is a young adult spin-off to the Batman series.  The collection features art by Karl Kerschl with additional art by Mingjue Helen Chen for flashbacks and the epilogue.

Gotham Academy looked fun.  I bought the first issue, enjoyed it, and then forgot it.  I went back to the trade paperback after the completion of the first volume of the series and found that it was a fun read…but like many good, solid comics, that doesn’t necessarily keep it in publication.

While not entirely a mystery, the series kind of sets up the story as a bunch of mini-mysteries which keeps you reading.  You don’t know what Olive did over the summer, you don’t know if there are ghosts, and you don’t know Olive’s relationship with her mother.  The writing keeps you coming back for the next issue.

gotham academy #3 cover olive

Gotham Academy #3

The comic has a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in it.  Olive (like Buffy) starts out as the outcast with a smart sidekick girl as her only friend.  Through her ingenuity and actions, Olive manages to befriend a few other students (even if they are frenemies).  It is also an interesting set-up between Olive and Batman and Olive and Killer Croc.

The art for the series is solid and vibrant.  With the characters and the setting Karl Kerschl gives off a bit of a manga vibe with the art.  With Cloonan and Fletcher, Kerschl works to give the characters a real teenage feel to them…and succeeds.

Gotham Academy is a fun little series.  The comic balances a bit of a Harry Potter-esque school setting with a Batman world.  The characters are fun and different and appeal to a wide range of readers though it could run the risk of being too clever for its own good.  I look forward to seeing the trouble that Olive, Maps, and their Scooby-Gang get into next.  Gotham Academy 1:  Welcome to Gotham Academy was followed by Gotham Academy 2:  Calamity.

Related Links:

Gotham Academy 2:  Calamity

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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