Last issue, Gotham Academy brought us an intriguing cliffhanger that has me rather excited about what we’ll learn this time around. What new secrets will we hear about with Olive’s mother? Who is the mysterious boy that’s been popping up all over the place? Is it good?
Gotham Academy #5 (DC Comics)
So that mysterious ghost and sounds that everyone in Gotham Academy has been apparently hearing? Turns out that behind the walls is none other than Killer Croc! He escaped from Arkham a while ago and has been hiding out on campus and out of sight. He seems to know something about Olive’s mother, but before he can reveal too much, he runs off when Maps shows up. However, determine to get the truth about everything, Olive decides to track him down with her friends.
This issue is where things start coming together and a lot of the plotlines that have been building up start coming to a close and revealing clear idea of the truth. We learn who this mysterious student is, a bit about what happened to Olive in the past, what the truth about this ghost is, and a bit more. Not every plotline gets an answer or resolution (we should learn everything next issue), but the story here really picked up and got interesting in my opinion. Without going too much into spoilers, if you have been curious about where everything was going, this issue should give you some satisfaction.
The pacing and all those similar aspects are all well done here, with maybe one scene change that felt too abrupt. The characters and characterization are absolutely wonderful and enjoyable here. Everyone still feels like they have their own unique personalities, the interactions with one another are great, and everyone is just fun to read and follow. Maps was probably the best character of the bunch, just being so likeable and funny with her RPG antics (she stole the show in every scene she was in, even from Olive, who is the main focus). The dialogue and narration are solid as well, with lots of great lines from every character. The ending itself, while strangely abrupt in how it cuts off (no dialogue or anything), is really interesting and guarantees you’ll be back to see how this first arc all wraps up. The only weak part to the writing, and also the story, would be the reveal with the mysterious teen we’ve been seeing. It makes sense and all, but Olive seems to take everything in stride and seems almost nonplussed by what she sees with him. It felt a bit odd, but nothing too serious and more of a minor problem in the grand scheme of things.
The artwork still looks wonderful as always and really helps make this book feel so unique. The characters are nicely depicted, the layouts are well put together and easy to follow, and the scenery looks fairly nice and vibrant in parts. Plus, the coloring on the books really makes everything pop and stand out. It’s all good stuff and basically things you already know. If you liked the artwork in the past, you shouldn’t have any problems with this issue.
Is It Good?
Gotham Academy #5 is a turning point for the first story arc. We start getting a lot of reveals in this issue that put a lot of the events we’ve seen into context. The writing is still top-notch, the characters are really enjoyable, and the artwork is as good as always. With the final issue for this opening story arc coming next month, I am more curious than ever to learn the truth and see how it ends. This ought to be good.