Gotham Academy: The Best Comic You Should be Reading
It is no secret that of the past couple of years two of the most wildly popular franchises across all forms of entertainment are Batman and Harry Potter. Fans have latched onto these sagas in a way that is beyond a mere fad and instead have made them milestones of our culture. You have to wonder then why in the hell a comic which combines the best elements of these two beloved franchises only sells about 13,000 copies?!?! Debuting in 2014 from the creative team of Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl, the series follows Olive Silverlock, daughter of C-level villain Calamity, as she attends the historic, Gotham Academy. She is an aloof and somewhat troubled girl, who finds herself caught up in a series of adventures alongside her adventurous best friend “Maps”, her brother (and Olive’s ex) Kyle, resident occult expert Pomeline, and troublemaker Colton.
Together this group of friends discover that this historic school houses many of Gotham City’s darkest secrets. Naming themselves the Detective Club, they hunt ghosts, find secret societies, look for treasure and battle monsters and supervillains together; all the while unraveling the secrets of this strange school. Along the way they find themselves dealing with Gotham Academy’s eclectic faculty including many familiar faces to Batfans; Aunt Harriet, Dr. Hugo Strange, Kirk Langstrom, Simon Trent, and the headmaster whom the kids have dubbed Hammerhead. Of course it’s not all adventures and excitement, naturally being teenagers, the relationships play a major part of draws the readers into the story and causes them to latch onto these characters. Olive and her ex Kyle, still obviously have feelings for each other, but mysterious newcomer named Tristan also vies for Olive’s affections. Like Olive, Tristan has a tie to Batman’s infamous Rogues Gallery as well as he suffers from a condition which turns him into a bat creature. For Batfans it should come as no surprise that Kirk Langstrom secretly aided the boy, until the nefarious chemistry professor Milo has his way.
Despite the fact that the focus of the series is not on the Caped Crusader or his allies, being in Gotham naturally means the heroes and villains of the city are bound to pop up from time to time. In this semester the school has served as a base to the Court of Owls; been besieged during the Joker’s Endgame; gave shelter to Killer Croc; and enrolled Damien Wayne for a spell. It is during these tumultuous times that the kids of this series show what they’re really made of as they stand their ground when this kind of trouble arises, especially the gusto-filled superhero-obsessed Maps. As such the Detective Club has earned the respect of many of the capes who protect Gotham City.
Now as the gang’s first semester at Gotham Academy wraps up, DC has published a fantastic series of “Yearbooks”, where rotating artists tell short stories of adventures they have had throughout the year. This is all in preparation for the upcoming, Gotham Academy: Second Semester which will be released in time for school in September. This volume promises even more mystery and drama, and possibly a great jumping on point for new readers hoping to pick up this fantastic series. So if you are a fan of; Batman, gothic horror, mysteries, and lovable characters, be sure to add this series to your pull list.