So I’m trying a NEW DC title. Gotham Academy. Which follows the lives of Olive and Maps as they attend the prestigious Gotham prep school. This will be a slightly SPOILER FILLED Review! EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m changing my review style a bit with this title. Hope you like the new format.
Welcome to Gotham Academy
So Gotham Academy is one of the two new DC Comics titles I was interested in checking out this month. The other one Arkham Manor debuts later in the month. Gotham Academy is like a US version of Harry Potter. It has high school teen angst written all over it. I was really excited to see what this title would give me as a reader. Sadly all I can say is that it’s nothing like you have read from DC before. Or at least it’s unlike any DC Book I’ve read before. SURE DC wants to appeal to the teens of comic reading. So I’m far out of their target audience as a 34 almost 35 year old guy. BUT there are times when I like having FUN. Sadly this first issue is just TOO DAMN EMO! As well as being TOO HYPERACTIVE!
What Works: You have Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher on the writing here. They set up the two leads Ol;ive and Maps (what the hell kinda name is that?) Olive is a second year student at The Academy, and Maps is a first year student. These characters could not be more different from one another. Maps is the over energietic one, and Olive is the mopey girl… who has a past that we haven’t learned about yet. Apparently she was dating Maps brother Kyle…. I do like how the two characters stories intertwine as the issue progresses. Up til the point when Olive has to save Maps. That’s about all that works for me in the writing.
What Doesn’t Work: For me everything else about this issue is sooo cliche. The standard closed off silent type personality is who Olive is, and the standard HIGH STRUNG SUPERENERGYBEPOSITIVEABOUTEVERYTHING personality in Maps. I get that they are meant to maybe compliment each other, but I wanted more explanation on their characters. Or at least more backstory than what we got. After all this is the first issue. We should be properly introduced to them, not just hey here is this second year student and her Freshman wench she must babysit. Then there is some weird mystery surrounding Olive and her thoughts on Batman. And oh yeah Bruce Wayne is the keynote speaker….. yet he only says a few words, before the big action scene at the end of the book. The writers then leave us on a “eye begind the wall” cliffhanger. Where something or someone is watching Olive and her roommate. LIKE that hasn’t happened in a million other pieces of media.
What Works: Karl Kerschl, Geyser, and Dave McCraig are the art team on this title. For the most part I enjoy the art. The characters are all well defined and the backgrounds look great. Colors pop and fade when they need to. I like the way the academy is designed, and how it looks.
What Doesn’t Work: On the flipside there were times when I thought the character designs were altered from panel to panel. This could have just been me, but Olive doesn’t look the same in a few of the panels. Maps just is a strange design for a teen girl. At least in my opinion. She just looks so unnatural. Like something Ras Al Ghul concocted from a bad Lazarus Pit.
Gotham Academy #1…… So there ya have it… I tried something NEW…. and it just wasn’t for me! As you can tell. I dunno if I’ll be getting isue #2 right away. After all this is a title that isn’t aimed at me, and even though there are FUN and FUNNY moments in the book…. it’s just not for me. If you have pre teen or teenagers licing at home, that’s really who this is aimed at. I cannot recommend it for any geek I know.