Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I Reads You Review: GOTHAM ACADEMY #1


STORY: Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher – @beckycloonan @BrendenFletcher
ART: Karl Kerschl – @karlkerschl
COLORS: Geyser with Dave McCaig
LETTERS: Steve Wands
COVER: Karl Kerschl
VARIANT COVER: Becky Cloonan
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (December 2014)

Rated “T” for “Teen”

“Welcome to Gotham Academy”

Gotham Academy is a recently launched DC Comics titled aimed at teen readers.  The series is written by Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher, drawn by Karl Kerschl, colored by Geyser (with Dave McCaig), and lettered by Steve Wands.

Gotham Academy #1 (“Welcome to Gotham Academy”) opens just outside the Headmaster's office of Gotham Academy.  No one is really in trouble.  Headmaster Hammer simply wants second year student, Olive Silverlock, to act as “nanny” (chaperon) to first-year student, Maps Mizoguchi.  Maps just happens to be the younger sister of Olive's boyfriend (ex-boyfriend?), Kyle.  Chaperoning the little sister is going to be the least of Olive's problems.

Let's be straight, dear reader.  Gotham Academy is a girl's comic book, and that is a good thing.  What writers Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher have done is show that with imagination, the most traditional aspects and elements of DC Comics mythologies and properties can yield something for just about any reader.  And that can be done without transforming the central property, in this case Batman, into something alien.  Gotham Academy is simply a small country in the world of Batman.  It is a boarding school story with elements of mystery and adventure, genres and sub-genres that are familiar to most people who have been regular readers throughout their lives.

So, Gotham Academy is for everyone – for everyone who wants it.  In the meantime, with its female lead and mostly female supporting cast (so far), this comic book is aimed at teen girls, a demographic that producers of comic books in America should be trying to attract.  Still, fans of everything Batman can find something to love about this enticing title.

Gotham Academy is an especially good read, and I certainly want to read more.  Karl Kerschl's quirky graphic style, his energetic graphic design and layouts, and his sparkling graphical storytelling will hook readers into attending this boarding school.  Like another famous boarding school, it has an alluring sense of mystery, wonder, and darkness about it.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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