Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Gotham Academy Second Semester #5 Review and **SPOILERS**

Uh, What?

Story: Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan & Karl Kerschl 
Plot: Brenden Fletcher 
Pencils: Adam Archer 
Inks: Sandra Hope 
Background Painting: Msassyk 
Colors: Msassyk & Serge Lapointe 
Breakdowns: Rob Haynes 
Letters: Steve Wands 
Cover: Karl Kerschl 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: January 11, 2017


I gotta say, with the Academy of the Bat happening over in New Super-Man #7 (see my review right now!), Gotham Academy seems a little lackluster. Like, sure it’s got a luxurious, spooky campus, but is anyone training to be a superhero here? Or anything, really? Seems like Gotham Academy has a lot of weird classes about magic literature and alchemy, and not many about economics and history. And zero classes about being Batman—when Gotham City is right next door! I think someone’s got to have a talk with the City’s Chancellor of Schools, start putting education first and get our fictional private schools on par with the fictional private schools of China. Gotham Academy life isn’t that bad, though, just a little…strange. As you will find out if you read my review of Gotham Academy Second Semester #5, right here!

Explain It! 

We left off…two issues ago, before that weird prequel one-off that served no purpose other than clean out the Inventory drawer, Colton was expelled from Gotham Academy by Headmaster Hammer! I’d assumed, at the time, that it was due to being caught during that issue’s hijinks, which involved something about witches and something something skulking through hollow walls and such. Now we find out what really got Colton expelled from the Academy: an attempted heist of Professor Silversmith’s goggles! And weirdly, he was with Pomeline at the time. Colton gets away by slipping into a secret doorway marked with that Arkham symbol that’s been sort of floating around since the first issue, and through that finds a secret library where Mr. Scarlet aka the Bookworm is drawing on a map of the grounds. When Bookwork leaves, Colton grabs the map and runs off, smashing into Headmaster Hammer and dropping the map—which Hammer reveals is his! And boy is he miffed.
So that’s why Colton got expelled. He ended up stealing a map from Bookworm that Bookworm stole from Hammer, and this is somehow an injustice because Colton wasn’t the original thief. He still stole the map, people. It doesn’t absolve Bookworm of wrongdoing, but Colton didn’t know it wasn’t Bookworm’s map, he just stole it. So now Colton is being walked around the Academy by a couple of security guards to say his final goodbyes before total expulsion. In one hour, he must leave the campus, despite the fact that he’s refused to contact his parents or have someone come pick him up. Come on now, surely even a horrifying school like Gotham Academy wouldn’t throw a teenager out to homelessness. What am I saying? One of the students is a Man-Bat for crying out loud.
So because the writers of this comic book think security guards aren’t very intelligent, Kyle convinces them to leave Colton in his care, as he is a prefect at the Academy. Then the gang splits up to help Colton, and it just gets really confusing from here. Pomeline hires a lawyer who immediately gets the expulsion delayed pending a hearing of some sort. So…comic book over? Day saved? Not quite—first we have to watch the goddamned hearing for like five pages, and it is dull as crap. Bruce Wayne is there, which is fun. While that goes on, Pomeline and Tristan the Teenaged Man-Bat break into the Wedgewood House to find Pomeline’s heritage? With the map I guess? Because later in the courtroom setting, they try to reveal the map and it ain’t there. Anyway, Eric the asthmatic kid that’s super into this arcane history of Arkham or whatever is lurking around, and I’m just tired of writing about this book anymore.
This was awful. It started tepid, and then there was so much shit being thrown at you at one time that it felt like a drawer full of silverware falling down a flight of stairs. Slowly. With a weird courtroom scene happening in the middle of it. I think at the core of my displeasure is that Colton is a character I could really care less about. He’s been a non-factor in the book all along. He’s always so secretive about his past and I can’t say I’ve ever cared. Couldn’t pick a better guy to get eighty-sixed, in my opinion. Olive’s bitchy invisible friend Amy is also around for much of the issue, so you know that wasn’t even more of a bring-down or anything.

Bits and Pieces:

This episode picks up from the cliffhanger two issues ago, and it's about as exciting as you'd expect a school expulsion to be. Lots of disjointed scene jumping between meaningless moments make for an unsatisfying and confusing read. It's as pretty look at as it ever was.


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