Gotham Academy: Volume 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy

Written By: Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher

Art By: Karl Kerschl

Distributed By: DC Comics

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                When I heard about a new comic book series centered in Gotham, I had to check it out.  The title even sounded interesting - Gotham Academy.  Made me wonder what this series would be about. Was this a school for the Gotham elite kids or was this a training academy for gifted individuals who would become Gotham's next superheroes.  Only one way to find out.

                Gotham Academy: Volume 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy is a compilation of Gotham Academy issues 1-6 and centers around Olive Silverlight, a young girl struggling to get by in the Academy.  Her first year at the school had been okay, but something had happened over the summer...something she can't quite remember...that changed her somehow.  If only she knew what!

                Unfortunately, this new semester gives her little time to dwell on that, thanks to the new student she has to play chaperone to.  Mia Mizoguchi, or Maps as she is called by friends, is an adventurous sort and has known Olive for years.  After all, Olive has been dating her brother since before they ever entered the Academy. 

                Maps notices something strange about Olive and decides she will break her old friend out of her funk by taking them on an adventure.  Who knew that the adventure would take them into secret tunnels all around Gotham Academy...tunnels that lead from the school to Arkham Asylum and the truth about Olive's mother and her lost summer semester?!

                I have to admit, Gotham Academy was not what I was expecting, but I still found it to be an enjoyable read.  The series fits right in with the detective style of previous Gotham series and is geared toward a much younger crowd.  Batman makes an appearance here and there, as does Bruce Wayne, who we learn has furnished the scholarship for Olive to attend Gotham Academy. 

                I liked the idea that the most unlikely students end up banding together to solve a mystery and eventually become members of a Detectives Club.  Cute idea and solving mysteries along with the kids will be something younger comic book fans are bound to enjoy.  The storyline is excellent, but the art is nothing special.  Perhaps the softer tones of the artwork are geared towards the younger generation of comic book readers, but I wasn't all that impressed.

                So, to sum things up, I thought Gotham Academy: Volume 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy was a cute addition to the DC Comics Gotham comic book line up.  I think it would be a great read for kids who aren't quite ready for the dark undertones and themes of the Batman series.

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