Gotham Academy Leaves Us Whelmed

I”m a huge sucker for teen school stories. I loved New X-Men: Academy X (Remember that title? No? Neither does anyone else don’t worry) so much that when House of M basically destroyed the series I stopped reading comics for a few months. I mourned that shit. I take my YA titles seriously. To me there’s something empowering about titles that focus on students. It may be because I was a teacher in a past life but anytime you have a chance to imply with the setting that education is important and create characters that tell kids they don’t have to wait to grow up to make a difference I’m in. Which means when I heard about Gotham Academy I knew I was going to have to sink my money into that dead tree.

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I did really enjoy the main character Olive Silverlock, I mean once I got over the whole we named her after her hair because that’s not ridiculous at all thing. Her sidekick Maps Mizoguchi, who also happens to be Olive’s ex’s kid-sister seemed a little too dumb to live for my taste. She seems utterly clueless about Olive and her brother’s break up even though it’s implied they were friends before the split. I know she’s supposed to come off as a flighty young kid but to me the character just didn’t feel authentic. I also wasn’t terribly pleased that Olive’s story seems to revolve around being dumped (I assume it’s never really explained how the break happens) and feeling like an outsider. Is it so much to ask for a story that’s just about women and not their relationship to men. I’m really hoping the breakup storyline goes somewhere beyond youthful heartache but as this is DC I’m not holding my breath on the matter.

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I did like Olive’s whole remembering who she is moment at the end when she decides to be daring once again. The story implies a few strange things going on at the Academy and Bruce makes an appearance at the end because come on the Bat is everywhere. This comic wasn’t bad but I wish it had a stronger storyline to make me want to read issue two. The art was great, the writing was good not great. Unfortunately I was really I was hoping for more. The boarding school trope has been used before and better in comics like Morning Glories. I’m going to keep reading this title because while the first issue didn’t make my head explode there was enough good in it for me to want to keep going. There were just enough questions left that I want to see where they go with it but I’m not getting my hopes up.

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