Gotham Academy #9 Review

Writers: Brenden Fletcher & Becky Cloonan / Artist: Kyle Kerschl / DC Comics

Alright, let’s run through some basics:

1) Pomeline’s a gangster.
2) I ain’t trust him at first, and he’s still a douche for rockin’ dark shades in a cemetery at night, but yo, Colton Rivera’s the real MVP.
3) Finally – and I’ve been saying this for years – little White kids are the creepiest things on the planet. Downright terrifying. Especially blonde ones. I go out of my way to walk around them in public because the devil’s in them and they’re straight up nightmare fuel. That being said, this is something Karl Kerschl drew, and my real life reaction.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.09.22 PM

Now that that’s out of the way… the squad back, son! Pizza Club, muhfuckas! Detective Club, muhfuckas! These cats are established, fam. Rivera got hideouts like trap houses, yo. Maps got blueprints like Hov or KRS. No, literally, she unrolled the gotdamn blueprint with a 5-step plan on catching a body. The crew is deeper than God’s love. I know they’re in high school and I’m a grown man with a good credit score and a career, but I’ma say #SquadGoals anyway.

Issue #9 follows the whole gang as they track a werewolf on Gotham Academy’s campus. It’s fun to see the whole cast together, mostly because it’s actually somewhat rare in this series. We even see Ms. Macpherson – who I’m always hoping to see more of – play set-up to Maps’ comedy, correcting her English while Maps brushes her off like, “Biiiish, I’m hunting lichens.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.16.03 PM

Kerschl’s panel layouts are really outstanding and lend themselves well to the more dramatic scenes. The panel angles, backgrounds, and use of empty space are the kind of details that make this comic more fun to read. That, and capturing a wide range of facial expressions, from Map’s exaggerated enthusiasm to Olive’s subtle discomfort.

Nine issues into the series and Gotham Academy still has unsolved mysteries that began in the first, which is a well-crafted long game given that the story progresses just fast enough to keep readers interested. Would readers stick around for love of the characters? Probably, but striking a good balance between character-driven comedy and plot-driven mystery is what separates Gotham Academy as a really great book.

9 out of 10

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  • Jordan Calhoun is a writer and pop culture savant in New York City. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Japanese, and an M.P.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. He might solve a mystery, or rewrite history. Find him on Twitter @jordanmcalhoun

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