Review: Gotham Academy #1

Gotham Academy 001-000GOTHAM ACADEMY #1

Art and cover by KARL KERSCHL
1:25 Variant cover by BECKY CLOONAN
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.


WELCOME TO GOTHAM ACADEMY! Gotham City’s most prestigious prep school is a very weird place. It’s got a spooky campus, oddball teachers, and rich benefactors always dropping by…like that weirdo Bruce Wayne. But nothing is as strange is the students!
Like, what’s up with Olive Silverlock? Is she crazy or what? Where did she go last summer? And what’s the deal with her creepy mom? And how come that Freshman MAPS is always following her around? And is she still going out with Kyle? P.S. Did you hear the rumor about the ghost in the North Hall?!
GOTHAM ACADEMY is a new, monthly teen drama set in the shadow of Batman and the craziness of Gotham City, with new characters and old plus a secret tie to Gotham’s past…




I chose to review this issue because of the word of mouth I’ve been seeing about it. It’s written wonderfully different from almost everything DC has done since the New 52 started. We actually have female protagonists that exist on their own merits, seem fully rounded out, especially Olive Silverlock. Bruce Wayne’s placement doesn’t seem at all odd or forced. Maps is a very refreshing character whose precociousness balancing out naivete in the situation her and Olive get themselves into. Olive also has a little history that I’m interested in seeing developed.

The artwork has a nice animated feel to it, with the characters popping very nicely. Kerschl’s style has just enough of that anime sensibility to have a broader appeal. The colors never distract, although I doubt the book would be as successful artistically without them. Most importantly these are teenage characters that look their age. That is refreshing in an era of the sexualization of underage characters.

I like this book, and unlike most stuff that’s come out of DC in the past five years, I’d be willing to give this one to my daughter to read. This was the company that allegedly had a high ranking editor tell Paul Pope that DC only made comics for 40 year olds. This is not aimed at that market. The only despair I have is that someday Becky Cloonan and Karl Kerschl will leave it and the next creators won’t be able to sustain the magic that makes this issue so good.