Gotham Academy is quite possibly the most unique title in the Batman universe right now. Taking place in a boarding school, it’s a fun series starring a bunch of teenagers working together in a mystery crew. One character in particular, Olive Silverlock, is somehow tied to Calamity, a mysterious villain with fire powers of some kind. Those ties have been hinted at throughout the series. While nothing’s confirmed before now, there are strong hints in this issue to the exact nature of their connection.
At the end of the last issue, Kyle went missing after the mystery crew took a field trip. In Gotham Academy 12, the remaining crew heads out on a rescue mission in the ruins of Arkham Asylum. This is a fun, adventurous comic that touches on everyone’s personality. Olive’s mixed feelings over what’s happening with her are deep, and she’s clearly holding information back from her friends because she’s afraid of the implications. Maps is endlessly optimistic and delightful as a result. A major Batman villain makes a surprise appearance and helps clarify things, while also bringing up new questions. This issue reads fast, but there’s a lot to like about it.
The art by Karl Kerschl is great as usual. There’s a lot of detail in everything. At times, characters look straight out of an anime, and the backgrounds are sometimes beautiful to look at. The creepy forest near the abandoned asylum is filled with bare trees in the dark, adding to the mood. Facial expressions do a great job at expressing emotions. The colouring by Serge Lapointe and Msassyk are fantastic. The entire comic is bright, colourful and appealing.
This series, written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher, continues to be a delight. The only real complaint I have about this issue is that there isn’t a single credits page, at least not one I could find. I needed to go to the Comicbookresources preview page to make sure I got the art team correctly. That’s more a problem with DC than the actual creator’s team. Seriously DC, why isn’t there a credits page? In any case, this is an easy recommendation for anyone interested in a mysterious Batman-related series involving students at a Gotham City school.