A while back, there were 3 young character books that I was getting. Those were Young Avengers, The Green Team, and The Movement. Each month, I looked forward to reading all 3 of those titles. The writing was good, characters were being developed, and there was the promise that anything could happen with these characters because there weren’t any preconceived notions about what these characters should be doing that would limit their development. Life was good. And then, within the span of a few months, all 3 titles were cancelled.
This week, I was in my local comic shop, and saw Gotham Academy #1 sitting on the shelf. I hadn’t really heard much about it, other than that it existed. But I thought why not, and decided to give it a look. Just maybe, this could be the young character book that I had been missing.
In short, the issue follows Olive, a girl in her second year at Gotham Academy. She’s paired with first year student nicknamed Maps, who happens to be the younger sister of Olive’s soon-to-be, possibly ex-boyfriend. Throughout the issue, we get brief introductions to the side characters, her fellow classmates. Most of those relationship seem to be adversarial. We keep hearing that something happened that changed Olive, but it’s not certain as to what. The only clue really given is that she doesn’t like Batman. So I assume, Batman is somehow involved in what happened. This being the first day of school, there’s supposed to be an assembly, but Olive and Maps skip it. They instead climb the belfry to try to get a better look at the North Hall, which is supposedly haunted. On the top, Maps leans on some loose bricks, and falls over the side. Olive uses the rope attached to the bell, and swings down to pull Maps from the ledge she had grab hold of. Unfortunately, they come to a stop in front of the large glass windows where the assembly is happening, and Bruce Wayne is talking to the students. He recognizes Olive. Later, Bruce comes to check on her, and she initially freaks out because she thinks it’s Batman. Back in her room, Olive finds that her roommate is freaking out, because she thinks something is watching her through the window. Olive looks out, but doesn’t see anything. However, we see an eye peering through a crack in the wall.
Overall, I enjoyed this issue enough that I plan on getting issue #2. I thought the writing was pretty good. I don’t remember reading anything written by Becky Cloonan or Brenden Fletcher, but I thought they did a fine job in giving introductions to the characters, the setting, and setting the tone for the series. It is exactly what you need to do in the first issue of a series. Karl Kerschl does the art, and it really works for the title. What really stuck out to me was the ability to convey facial expressions. It may seem like a small thing, but being able to enhance the writing with accurate expressions can make or break a book.
So, if you liked any of the 3 titles I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, I encourage you to check out this book. I just hope that sales are good enough that it will continue for a while.