GOTHAM ACADEMY VOLUME 1

PrintE-mail Written by Samantha Ward

Gotham has its very own spooky prep school, obviously full of strange, curious students and teachers alike. Artist Becky Cloonan wields the pen (or keyboard) for this new adventurous series alongside writer Brenden Fletcher, and they put a whole new perspective on the tales and characters within Gotham. It's dark and eerie but the innocence of teen angst gives the world a refreshingly lighter tone. The youthful nature of this series is very much enhanced by artist Karl Kerschl, who creates some beautiful expressions in the characters, bringing each one to life with a manga-like style.

The adventure begins when aloof protagonist, Olive Silverlock, returns to the academy after a mysterious incident which kept her away all summer. She comes back feeling isolated, with whispers behind her back. She can't even bare to speak to her boyfriend, Kyle, or is it ex-boyfriend now? Olive is confused and trying to discover who she is. Her one friend is Mia (aka Maps), a freshman and Kyle's younger sister, who follows Olive everywhere. Maps brings all the fun and giggles to this series with her gleeful optimism; carrying a compass and torch wherever she goes ready for the next escapade, using her self-taught skills from playing D&D-inspired role playing game Serpents and Spells.

Gotham Academy has a very Hogwarts feel to it, an extensive and prestigious boarding school with a profoundly ominous atmosphere; the North Wing hall has been blocked from passage with rumours that it's haunted. It's filled with kooky professors and an extremely powerful headmaster. Although there is no real connection to magic or the supernatural, it most definitely has that mystical ambiance. As Olive tries to figure her own life out, she is soon drawn to the enigmas of Gotham Academy. Thereafter, she finds herself in threatening predicaments but friendships unfold when she bands together with a motley crew of teens who also seek adventure and answers.

It's easy to get carried away in the melodrama and character plots, it's fun and keeps you drawn in with all its mystery. There is a shadow of Batman that lurks over the academy much to the dislike of Olive who for some mysterious reason has a lot of hatred for the Dark Knight. Although he does make an appearance he is very much in the background, and there’s references to other Batman characters throughout the series. If you are tired of the grittier, sinister mood which encompasses most of the current Batman comics, Gotham Academy is great for those looking for a new angle with compelling female protagonists.

WRITERS: BECKY CLOONAN, BRENDAN FLETCHER / ARTIST: KARL KERSCHL, MINGJUE HELEN CHEN / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 30TH


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