Gotham Academy 2: Calamity

gotham academy volume 2 calamity cover review
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Good leads

Feels like it could work better in a different format

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Gotham Academy/Convergence:  Green Lantern Corps

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Becky Cloonan/Brenden Fletcher

Artist:  Karl Kershl/Mingjue Helen Chen/Msassyk

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  2016

gotham academy #7 cover variant joker

Gotham Academy #7 Variant

Reprints Gotham Academy #7-12 and Convergence:  Green Lantern Corps #2 (July 2015-February 2016).  Olive Silverlock’s mother is dead…but why does she feel she is still being haunted by her?  When Olive learns her mother was a supervillain named Calamity, Olive questions if her death could be faked…and the secrets of Gotham Academy mean a trip into the city to find the truth!

Written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher, Gotham Academy Volume 2:  Calamity is a DC Comics teen detective superhero comic book.  Following Gotham Academy Volume 1:  Welcome to Gotham Academy, the series features art by Karl Kershl, Mingjue Helen Chen, and Msassyk.

As the comic book market continues to change, DC and Marvel seem the most desperate to keep up or stay ahead of the curve.  With the rise and more mainstreaming of manga and the CW style TV shows, Gotham Academy seems to follow this route and tries to tap into a new and different audience…with some success and some failings.

The cast of the comic book series is charming.  The series primarily circles around Olive and Maps (though Maps is already becoming the breakout star in this volume), and one of the series weaknesses is that it feels like it needs to do a better job fleshing out the supporting cast since this feels more like an ensemble book.  This volume deals a lot with Olive’s past, and it does leave me wishing that the writers had picked more of an established character to be Olive’s mother.  It didn’t have to be a major character, but something like Cluemaster-Spoiler dynamic feels like it would have worked a bit better.

gotham academy #11 cover olive silverlock maps

Gotham Academy #11

The story has a lot of a flow of a manga.  It is a bit choppy and some of the duller practical parts are cut while a lot of the soap-opera drama remains.  DC doesn’t go all in on the format and part of the fun of manga (of this style) is the extreme nature of them.  Gotham Academy feels like it is dipping its toe into the pool, but it is afraid to jump in.  I do think that the series is in a dangerous tipping point because it still is attainable for regular comic non-manga readers, but it doesn’t alienate them…and a good chunk of the audience.

Gotham Academy is good in a basic overview, but it also feels a bit like the wrong format.  I might have enjoyed this collection more (and the comic) if it was in a digest form and maybe found in the manga section of a bookstore.  It has the potential to be a crossover hit and the best part of a crossover is that sometimes the water flows both ways…manga readers might become comic book readers and comic book readers could become manga readers.  Gotham Academy has the potential but needs a push in the right direction.  Gotham Academy 2:  Calamity is followed by Gotham Academy 3:  Yearbook.

Related Links:

Gotham Academy 1:  Welcome to Gotham Academy

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.

Leave A Response