Written by: Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher
Art by: Karl Kerschl with Msassyk and Mingjue Helen Chen
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 21, 2015
*Spoilers ahead, Summary and score at the bottom*
Gotham Academy is back, but not actually the academy because the students are on a field trip and have ventured into Gotham City! The Pizza club with other students are on their way to Gotham City for Kyle's (Maps' brother) tennis match, but they are not their for the tennis match. They are going to dip out so they can explore Gotham to find out more about Olive's mother and if she actually is this "Calamity" villain we see always returning.
The beginning of this issue is of course all set up with the Pizza club and their plan to investigate Calamity and Sybil Silverlock. It was not bad and the pacing was actually better than any of the previous issues. The second act of this issue was definitely one of the better parts. We see Maps take charge with her detective skills as they break into city hall. The best part of it is the banter between Maps and Olive, in previous adventures we always have Maps doing all the talking while Olive is more concerned by the issue at hand, but now we have Olive kind of rebutting back to Maps' remarks. Maps' confidence mixed with Olive's sarcasm and lack of enthusiasm is a lot of fun and is a highlight of the book for me.
The third act was good, but kind of gets resolved quickly which has been a constant thing in this book. Of course they did have some help, this is a spoiler, but it is on the cover of the actual book. Red Robin guest appears here. I really loved the interaction between Maps and Tim Drake, not only because Maps is an obvious fan girl, but because Tim is fed up with all the ridiculousness that is happening with vigilantes in Gotham that he is just going with it now. He sees some girl throw an actual Batarang at him and he just assumes it is a new Robin, no questions asked. Congratulations, you are a crime fighter. The situation just seemed to get out of hand if this is his response now. It was fun to see that connection with We are Robin. If Maps knew that the Robin movement was going on she would probably drop out.
We had Red Robin tell Maps of a previous encounter with Calamity, which seemed less dangerous than Tim was telling. If Calamity was such a serious villain, How come we have never heard of her before? The retelling felt a little out of place especially with a different Robin and a different quick tone. In the end we see Red Robin and Maps try to take down Calamity as she is trying to take Olive away. They got rid of her quick, which was anticlimactic. We then have the fallout with even more great banter between Red Robin and Maps. Once Olive and Maps return we learned of Kyle's disappearance, which is where we ended. This book always likes to end on a cliff hanger, but sometimes it feels really forced with no build up to it.
There are three different artist in this book and they are all noticeable. Does not make it a bad thing, but kind of distracts from the reader. The second artist was not bad, but there was a clear difference between the two, but he was not on here for a lot of pages. The flashback to calamity was by Helen Chen which she has a nice style and made those pages feel flash backy, but it did feel out of place for this title. Karl Kerschl is still the king of art in this book. He drew a Gotham city scape which was amazing and very reminiscing of the animated series cartoon, brownie points.
Bits and Pieces:
The mystery of Sybil Silverlock continues as Olive discovers a big secret about her family, while Maps has a fun interaction with a fun surprise hero. While the arc is continuing kind of slow, this issue was a lot of fun as we learned more of Olive with some great interactions between some great characters. Art is always amazing in this book, not much I can say there.