Advent Review #8: Gotham Academy #3 (Comics Review)

One of DC’s latest series, Gotham Academy has had a pretty good and strong start with its first two issues. The series has introduced us to lots of new readers, almost all of them high-school aged, and the unrepentant fun of the series has definitely pulled me in hook, line and sinker. Olive Silverlock and her friends and frenemies have provided lots of mysteries to sink my teeth into and the whole story developing around these characters is something that I find very compelling, especially since the story itself is of a very personal nature.

In this past week’s Gotham Academy #3, we see a bit more of the larger story as Olive and Pomeline finally hash out their differences and agree to team-up, for now. That creates an interesting mechanic between Olive and the school bully, which I find really compelling and this issue is also largely about Olive basically cutting deals with people she doesn’t really get around with. Which is great. And the art? The art is superb and spectacular as always. I can’t get over the art, ever. There’s so much damn vitality to it!

I’ve finally settled in with Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher’s Gotham Academy and it is proving to be a blast to read, by all accounts and measures alike. Olive Silverlock makes for a great protagonist, and her supporting cast is no slouch either, no matter how you look at it. Each character has their own quirks and mannerisms, their own aspirations and mysteries, and the writers do a great job of bringing together so many diverse agendas and diverse personalities, which is where all the fun comes in really.

The central thing in this issue is the charm that it has. Each character is fleshed out nicely, especially in the third issue, and we see just what makes some of them tick, those that have come over as little more than bullies until now. That creates some new plot points for the story that the writers take full advantage of and the fact that the series is all about young schoolkids in Gotham is basically a damn good premise that has been well-executed so far. Secret Bat-cults. Resurrections. Ghosts. Creepy schools. Dark pasts. There’s so much good to be found here, no mistake.

There’s also been some hint of a romance on the title, between Olive and her friend Kyle, though things have been on the fritz for a few months, due to something that happened over the summer with Olive, something that perhaps involves Batman as well. It is one of the biggest mysteries of the series, and one that I can’t wait to see revealed, but as the writers slowly move the reader over to that point in time, they also have fun exploring the kind of relationship that these two have. Things are cool between them, but they are also the best of friends, more so since Kyle’s younger sister also happens to be Olive’s partner for the academic year and is the source of much laughter on this series.

But the best of course is that the writers moved Pomeline from being the snarky school bully to something more. They give her a distinct personality this time and she reacts much more positively to Olive, which only enhances her character all the more and provides yet another strong supporting character for Olive. Though I’m still wondering what exactly Pomeline and her friends are doing with that Bat-cult of theirs, which seems to be a really, really dangerous hobby considering that Gotham Academy is meant to be quite a spooky place.

Karl Kerschl is still the artist here, with Geyser, Msassyk and Serge Lapointe on colours, Steve Wands on letters and the cover by Karl himself. As with the previous issues, the artwork in here is pretty damn good. Whether we have the simmering hostilities between Olive and Pomeline or the awesome characterful scene between Olive and Kyle later on, or just the whole ghost-aspects of the story, the artists out-do themselves again and again. And the final page, well that’s the biggest kicker of them all, ending on such an abrupt and creepy end that is pretty damn unimaginable.

After the way this issue ends, I really can’t wait to find out what’s gonna happen next!

Rating: 9/10

More Gotham Academy: #1, #2.

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