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Gotham Academy #1

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By Becky Cloonan, Brandon Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Geyser & Dave McCaig

It’s always nice when DC takes a chance on a more obscure idea. Some of those ideas led to some great comics…Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE comes to mind. What’s even better is now it seems like DC is trying to take some chances in the Bat-verse. Batman and the Bat Family are great, but we need a little variety. Well, that variety is here, with more to come.

Gotham Academy is the story of a girl named Olive Silverlock attending a prep school located in Gotham City. She’s a typical teenager: she doesn’t fit in, she’s full of stereotypical angst, and trouble always seems to find her. This may sound cliché (because it is), but there is just enough mystery about her to keep us wanting to see more of her. Bits and pieces of her overall personality are teased, so it appears that over the course of the series, we’ll be presented with a bigger picture. Apparently, she has some sort of connection to Bruce Wayne and is even receiving scholarship money from him. It’s going to be interesting to have that plot explored in more depth.

Other than Olive and the annoying, yet adorable ex-boyfriend’s sister Maps, there aren’t any other characters that particularly stand out. The headmaster is straight out of Hogwarts and the other teachers/classmates have yet to be given proper consideration. This a first issue, so we can forgive this. At least Bruce Wayne shows up. Don’t let anybody ever tell you that there’s such a thing as too much Batman.

The art is surprisingly really neat. There’s definitely a manga/anime style here that meshes with the overall tone of the story. The colors are dark, yet not overly depressing. This book is also not afraid to show touches of light when the story calls for it. Karl Kerschl and Co. are a perfect fit.

As far as first issues go, Gotham Academy is certainly one of the more intriguing ones. We don’t have many plot details yet, but Cloonan and Fletcher are keeping us hooked with a fun protagonist. For the foreseeable future, this comic is going to stay on the pull list.

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