Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Gotham Academy Second Semester #12 Review and **SPOILERS**

The Lamest Love of All

Story: Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan & Karl Kerschl
Script: Brenden Fletcher
Pencils: Adam Archer
Inks: Sandra Hope
Background Paints & Colors: MSASSYK
Breakdowns: Rob Haynes
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover: Karl Kerschl
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: August 9, 2017


This is it! The very last issue of Gotham Academy Second Semester! Will it go out with a bang, or will there be a meandering story where characters mostly stand around and talk a lot and then a bang at the end? There’s only one way to find out, so let’s clean out our lockers and make up our last credit by reading my review of Gotham Academy Second Semester #12!

Explain It!

Why is there so much superfluous shit in this comic? Why was Olive subjected to the whims of Amanda from the Terrible Trio again, and at the last second, only for that to go nowhere? Why are Colton And Pomeline traipsing around Gotham Academy campus looking at books when everything interesting is happening elsewhere? Why is Maps so mad about Olive burning her brother Kyle, when he looks perfectly fine and healthy in this issue? I have a lot of burning “whys” for this series, and none of them are “why don’t more people read Gotham Academy Second Semester,” because I can understand why they wouldn’t. Here we are, a full year since this Second Semester began, and we’re just concluding the Silverlock/Amity Arkham story. Can you even remember another story that happened this year? There was a thing with a witch club, uh, Colson professed his interest in Kyle…there had to be other stuff. But I can’t recall any of it, because none of it seemed important or relevant in the slightest. So here we are, at the very end of what was hoped to be an epic story of Olive Silverlock’s possession by an evil spirit, and her redemption through friendship. But what we get is another overly-complicated child’s dream, except in this issue every character gets some panel time. Consider it a final bow.
Maybe it’s because this series was cut off at the knees, though mercifully, that several plots appear hamstrung and rushed at the very end. Like that Terrible Trio thing. What the hell was it for? Amanda has some vested, inherited interested in having Olive burn Gotham City to the ground, but she’s bested at every turn. Even her two hangers-on seem less than interested in whatever hoary ritual is being performed to force Amity Arkham’s control of Olive. There were no stakes there, and it served only to pad out a story that already had too many moving parts. Maps’ outrage at Olive seems misplaced and exaggerated, particularly since her brother appears entirely uninjured. And I just never gave a fuck about what Colton and Pomeline were going on about this whole series. Not one bit. It was them stumbling around some damp corridors while the stuff I wanted to read happened elsewhere. Of course, sometimes it happened to be the Batman comic book instead of Gotham Academy Second Semester, but that’s what I wanted.
The final straw for this issue and series was when everything worked out swell at the end, and Olive narrates some happy scenes of her and Maps being pals again, as well as the rest of the Detective Club doing each other’s braids or whatever. And Olive says, “This is my life. Last day of my second year at Gotham Academy.” No, love, it’s actually the end of your first year, but your second semester, a point of fact that was cleared up when this series began in September and there was SNOW ON THE FUCKING GROUND. Plus, it’s in the title, for crying out loud. Just because reading each issue feels like it takes a year doesn’t mean you can change things around later to suit that feeling. My final analysis for this series was that it was ambitious, but had no plan or coherent point, and relied too heavily on dredging characters up from various points of DCE media, and not enough on developing characters and situation. Too bad, really, because it is quite a gorgeous-looking comic.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue ended in a way that was very respective of the series: it was just more prep school dopes fumbling around for books in the dark while a cool fire rages elsewhere entirely. Do the creators not know that people like fire more than looking for moldy books? I'd say it's probably 50:1, fire versus books. I wish I could say the ending was satisfying, but the only satisfaction I feel is not having to read it next month. A missed opportunity for a concept that could have led to some cool stuff.


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