Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gotham Academy #4 Review

Written by: Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher
Art by: Karl Kerschl
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 28, 2015

Up the Academy

I fell in love with this series the minute I saw it.  Karl Kerschl's art was my gateway drug, but the characters and story kept me hooked and wanting more, more, more.  In fact, I declared Olive and Maps my favorite characters of all-time after reading the first issue and while I may have been a little overly dramatic, they are still very close to the top.  This month we get a full dose of both (yea!) and also something that's been missing from the book so far...answers.  Of course, those are coupled with a bunch of cool new questions and mysteries that continue making this book such an exciting read.  Here's a little spoiler, this issue is really good.

This issue starts with something that makes me so happy, Olive and Pomeline becoming friends.  Just like all my favorite 80's movies, the two enemies are slowly becoming besties.  I'm looking forward to seeing more, but unfortunately, Olive is summoned to the Headmaster's office.  While waiting for her inevitable punishment for breaking into the North Hall last issue, she see's two strange things.  The strange symbol connected to all the trouble that's been happening recently and Bruce Wayne.  I love how Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher make Gotham Academy a living, breathing place.  Classes are going on and everyone is busy with their daily activities.  So far, the Bruce Wayne bits have been short and sweet and are surely leading up to something bigger.  Thankfully, they aren't forced in to remind people that Batman is lurking around.

One character that remains an interesting mystery is Headmaster Hammer.  He's got the whole "is he good or is he bad" vibe going and after this issue, I'm on the good side of the fence.  As in, he knows everything that is going on and is helping Olive in a very distant, behind-the-scenes way. After a hint-like warning from him, Olive runs into yet another mystery.  Actually, she falls into him and by him I mean the dreamy mystery of a blond haired boy she's seen around campus.  This issue we get some solid information about him including his name, Tristan Grey, and that he may have had something to do with Olive's summer.

Olive then goes to see Maps and I was in Heaven.  Seeing her painting a Beholder made me love her even more and I didn't think that was possible.  Olive tells Maps about the symbol and they are off to talk to Eric, the nervous boy from last issue.  They saw him drawing the symbol, but he freaks out when they mention it.  After stalking him some more, the two plan another great adventure.  Maps has enough rope to scale walls and tie up goblins, but suddenly their is a ghost outside the window.

The book quickly goes from scary to scooby-doo when Olive finds that Millie Jane's ghost is a big, fat lie.  I actually like the characters involved and the reason for why they are doing it.  It also doesn't matter much anyway because the real monster was the one that ended last issue and is still out there and very, very scary.  Olive must feel the same because she goes off on a symbol hunt and turns the book completely upside down.

If the characters and setting haven't been enough for you and you have been irritated by the lack of answers in this book, then you have no soul and this issue is bound to be your favorite so far.  We don't learn everything, but what we get is great and the ending is awesome.

Karl Kershl's art is also awesome and compliments this book so well.  His art is so expressive and stylish and pushes the stories and characters as much as the script.  I love it.  It's like an animated show on the page and it actually makes me wish that it was a show right now.  Why isn't this book an animated show?

Bits and Pieces:

This book continues being great and exciting, fun.  Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl continue giving fans a developing mystery and while we get some answers this month, we also get some intriguing new developments.  I love this book and recommend it to anyone and everyone.