Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gotham Academy #1 - A Review

Olive Silverlock is not having a good year at Gotham Academy so far. Bad enough that she's snubbed by most of her classmates because she's attending the prestigious school on a scholarship! Now she has to mentor Maps - the younger sister of the ex-boyfriend who hasn't quite been ex-ed yet. Throw in the rumors of a ghost haunting the building and some things in Olive's past she's trying to get away from and it is going to be a long semester.

A manga-style slice-of-life comic set in a private school in the world of Batman?  Sounds a little crazy, doesn't it?  But sometimes the craziest ideas are the ones that work and Gotham Academy #1 definitely works.

The script by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher hits the usual notes for the first chapter of this sort of genre piece.  Our major characters and their quirks are established along with the setting of the Gotham Academy campus itself.  And there's even a little bit of action which establishes Olive as a brave and resourceful protagonist.  There's not a lot to indicate exactly where the series will go from here but enough mysteries are presented to offer several promising avenues of exploration.  

The artwork by Karl Kerschl is gorgeous. Kerschl's style fuses elements of both Eastern manga tropes along with Western cartooning to create something that is unique and memorable. The coloring by Geyser and Dave McCaig adds an additional astonishing level to the finished product.

Gotham Academy isn't the kind of book I normally read.  In fact, I dare say I'm the polar opposite of the audience this book is meant to attract. That being said, I found this first issue to be a promising start and think that while it wasn't quite my cup of tea, it will appeal to the audience it was intended for.

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