By Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Geyser, Dave McCaig & Jon Rauch
Gotham Academy has already become an instant hit from the start, with its first issue being launched to both critical and fan acclaim. This reviewer has yet to read a negative opinion of that issue, and given how mixed the reaction to almost every new DC #1 launched since the New 52, that’s quite an accomplishment. It’s safe to say then, that the series has continued to be incredibly impressive in the second issue, delivering a great take on something that feels new and fresh.
The creative team is on stellar form here. The combined writing duo of Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher (who’s also working on the awesome Batgirl book) have knocked it out of the park with another great exploration of the comics’ new protagonist. The issue is full of supernatural elements and intrigue, and both Cloonan and Fletcher have managed to avoid it simply being “Harry Potter in Gotham” by creating a distinctive voice that makes it so compelling. (However, that said, Harry Potter in Gotham would still be a cool book). We continue to get an exploration of what normal kids are like in Gotham which is something that the other books lack. We also get to see the history of Gotham as a city explored here, with the opening chapter being Olive Silverlock reading entries from Mille Jane Cobblepot’s diary. The adds a good feel to the book and it’ll be interesting to see whether, going forward, Cloonan and Fletcher can explore more about Gotham’s past, which as any Batman fan knows, is very rich indeed.
The artwork is what makes Gotham Academy one of the best looking titles on DC’s line-up as well as one of its best written. Karl Kerschl’s pencils are jaw-dropping and the colours, handled by a combined team of Geyser, Dave McCaig and Jon Rauch, make this book incredibly good. The book looks visually amazing, and it stands on the level of the artwork from JH Williams’ Batwoman or Mike Del Mundo’s stunning take on Elektra. It just looks so good, and it’s the perfect fit with the tone and feel of the book, creating that gothic atmosphere very well indeed.
The mysteries are still unknown about Olive, and there are plenty of threads left unanswered, but in a good way. We don’t know what’s coming next and the ending will only add more intrigue. It allows for plenty of surprises, and hopefully the revelations will come in #3, along with continuing the good balance of strong narrative and character development that we’ve had so far.
Things continue to be excellent in this book, and it’ll be great to see where this series goes from here. The artwork is superb and the storyline is equally great, and it’s good to see that the second issue has kept up this series’ good form. Next issue can’t come quickly enough.