Writers: Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl / Artist: Adam Archer / DC Comics

Certain tracks start off pretty basic, right? Lupe’s Emperor’s Soundtrack, Vic Mensa’s Dynasty — a few bars in and it’s like “aight, this is cool and everything but –” and then that shit finds its groove and does what Bast intended and by the end you gotta apologize for your doubt. Gotham Academy Second Semester #2 begins fairly slowly as each page has to do some foundation setting for the new story arc, but it definitely finds it halfway though the issue and begins a quintessential Gotham Academy adventure, just the type we come here for. The subtext of the arc is Olive and Maps’ relationship as Olive has a new friend in her life, Amy, who threatens their bond. Not only did Amy take Maps’ spot as Olive’s roommate, but Olive seems to be enjoying the new bad girl’s company a little too much, leaving Maps in the metaphorical rain, a detective without a partner.

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The real adventures are being seeded generously, which has always been a strength of this creative team, as much of the fun of Gotham Academy comes from the foresight of its writers who are known to sprinkle in clues as early as issue #1 even if those clues aren’t likely to be understood until months later. Not only does it add layers to the story, it’s a great reward for those more diligent readers who pay attention to details, like each issue is a panel of Escape the Room. So here we are, just two issues deep, and we have questions: Who’s the witch? Where’s the missing teacher? Why’s the diagram matter? What’s the deal with all the veggies in the cafeteria? All will be revealed eventually, but only one plot receives the obvious focus while the others develop in the shadows, beneficiaries of a magician’s misdirection. And the big plot right now is the campus Witch Club.

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Mysterious, smart, and absolutely funny, Gotham Academy Second Semester has its familiar groove. In one scene, a thankful Maps exclaims “Thank the Seven!” and it was so funny I audibly laughed at the random and silly Game of Thrones reference. Second Semester is a great jumping on point if you’re new to the series and been wanting to find your entry in. You’ll be happy you did.

8.7 out of 10

Reading Gotham Academy? Catch up on previous reviews here.

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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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