I’m wouldn’t call myself a passionate fan of Batman, but ever since Jon introduced me to some of his favorite graphic novels of the Caped Crusader, I’ve been hooked. I’ve only read five Batman graphic novels so far, but that number is ever-growing, so when, I discovered my library had the first volume of Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl, I couldn’t resist it.
There were two really great things about Gotham Academy:
- The artwork. Yet again I’ve discovered a graphic novel with beautiful art, scenery rich with detail, and characters that were incredibly stylish.
- Maps Mizoguchi. She’s the Dungeons and Dragons-loving, kid sister of Olive’s (our main character) ex-boyfriend. She’s chipper and vibrant and she has all the best nerdy lines referencing her favorite table top game.
Unfortunately, everything else was just sort of okay. Aside from Maps Mizoguchi, the rest of the characters were one-dimensional archetypes. I even found myself not caring about our main character, Olive Silverlock, or the traumatic secret she was struggling to recall; she was too angsty and devoid of emotion for my taste. The storyline had potential to be great, especially since it’s another graphic novel that made me wonder who the hero and who the villain really was (kind of like Nimona), but outside of that I didn’t really find it compelling. It seemed comparable to a Scooby Doo cartoon complete with red herrings and meddling kids; it was fun, but I felt like it lacked some depth. I also kept forgetting that the story took place in the Batman Universe. I kept hoping Gothamites would play a larger role, but they seemed more of a novelty than developed characters.
The story did end on an interesting cliffhanger though, but based on my experience with the rest of the graphic novel, I probably won’t advance to volume 2.
Have you read Welcome to Gotham Academy? Did you enjoy it? Are the new volumes worth my while?
Gotham Academy, Vol 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl
Released: June 2015
Publisher: DC Comics
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Synopsis: Welcome to Gotham Academy, the most prestigious school in Gotham City. Only the best and brightest students may enter its halls, study in its classrooms, explore its secret passages, summon its terrifying spirits…Okay, so Gotham Academy isn’t like other schools. But Olive Silverlock isn’t like other students. After a mysterious incident over summer break, she’s back at school with a bad case of amnesia, an even worse attitude…and an unexplained fear of bats. Olive’s supposed to show new student Maps Mizoguchi the ropes. Problem: Maps is the kid sister of Kyle, Olive’s ex. Then there’s the ghost haunting the campus…and the secret society conducting bizarre rituals.Can Olive and Maps ace the biggest challenge of their lives? Or are they about to get schooled?