I was really looking forward to Gotham Academy ever since I first heard of it, and after sitting down with it, along with a mug of brew, I have to say I was not disappointed in the least! This is one of the strongest debuts of a new concept/cast of characters into either of the big 2 superhero universes in quite some time.
Gotham Academy’s dynamic duo are not Batman & Robin, but students Olive Silverlock & Maps Mizoguchi. Most of the first issue is dedicated to introducing Olive, Maps, and Gotham Academy as a setting for future adventures. We also get a glimpse at some of the other students, too, which I’m sure will play a bigger role in future issues.
The artwork by Karl Kerschl, and colorists Geyser & Dave McCaig is pitch perfect for this series! I loved the “infographic” style 2 page spread on pages 4 & 5 that shows an exterior shot of Gotham Academy, as Olive & Maps make their way across campus, and little “peep-holes” into the activity going on inside. Co-creator, and co-writer Becky Cloonan provides a special variant cover to this issue(which is also our variant of the week), and I believe she will continue to do that for upcoming issues, as well.
Cloonan, and co-writer/creator Brendan Fletcher pace the story very well, and leave us with just enough of a tease at the end to keep us hooked in. The creators behind Gotham Academy are obviously confident enough in what they’re doing, to not rush in with any over the top, mindless action sequences, and obligatory super-heroics.(Although, there is a special appearance by a certain character, but it fits perfectly into the story…)
The comparison to Hogwarts is apt, but the creators behind Gotham Academy aren’t trying to hide the fact that those similarities are there. They obviously admire those stories, and want to tap into a similar format where a rich history is there to explore, and limitless possibilities are always present! I haven’t been a big fan of the whole New 52, “let’s just hit the reset button and start over” DCU, but I think that one of the real bright spots has been the expansion of the Bat-Universe AKA Gotham with new concepts like this, and Snyder’s Court of Owls story-line, etc.
I highly recommend comics fans, and non-comics fans to go pick up a copy of Gotham Academy #1. Let’s raise our glasses to a long, and adventurous run(300+ issues..??) to come!