Writers: Brenden Fletcher, Faith Erin Hicks, Michael Dialynas, David Peterson / Artists: Adam Archer, Sandra Hope, Faith Erin Hicks, Michael Dialynas, David Peterson / DC Comics
“Yearbook” continues with its series of short stories with great new writers taking their stab at our favorite Gotham campus. It’s a whole lot of reminiscing of untold adventures from the past year, a great means of adding depth to our favorite characters and bringing life to the campus itself. It has a history, it has secrets, it has… well, so much that we want to know. Developing such a backstory in a lighthearted short-story format makes the campus so much more interesting. Is the backstory easy to follow? Yup — there’s a lot of history but not nearly enough to feel overwhelmed. Is it fun? Definitely — these mini-adventures feel like hanging out with friends at the end of the year, remembering the best of the craziness that was. Is it going to get old? Well, if you were just starting to feel weary of Yearbook and ready to get back to more serialized action, issue #18 will be the last one. Perfect timing, and a great way to add a fun look back without becoming a cheap, overtired gimmick. Well played, Gotham Academy. Well played.
The first story in Gotham Academy #17 is “This One’s For You,” with Black Canary guest artist Annie Wu bringing Black Canary herself to the campus. This one belongs to Pomeline, showing a little more of the softer interior that hides behind the snark, and is a much-welcomed read for those of us who want to see more of her. With all due respect to Maps, Pomeline has always been my secret favorite character in Gotham Academy, so I’m always happy when she moves closer to the forefront.
Second is “A Familiar Story,” which felt like an inside joke without proper context, but is short enough to not be too frustrated by it. Not my favorite short story, but one that adds to the ever-present magic that hides on campus. And third comes “What Became of the Gilkey Warlocks…?” as a look into past generations of students and their equally inquisitive nature into mystery (the trademark of Academy students). These deeper flashbacks almost begin to feel like overdone backstories in the vein of anime fillers, but like I said, if you were just beginning to get exhausted, “Yearbook” is ending just in time.
Until then, we have the climax to look forward to with Gotham Academy #18 coming in a few more weeks. Expect a fun conclusion.
Reading Gotham Academy? Catch up on previous reviews here.