Rummanah Aasi
 Gotham Academy is a fun graphic novel that will suit fans of the superhero comics as well as old school mysteries. It is also a great start to a brand new series.

Description: Welcome to Gotham Academy, the most prestigious school in Gotham City. Only the best and brightest students may enter its halls, study in its classrooms, explore its secret passages, summon its terrifying spirits.
  Okay, so Gotham Academy isn't like other schools. But Olive Silverlock isn't like other students. After a mysterious incident over summer break, she's back at school with a bad case of amnesia, an even worse attitude...and an unexplained fear of bats.
  Olive's supposed to show new student Maps Mizoguchi the ropes. Problem: Maps is the kid sister of Kyle, Olive's ex. Then there's the ghost haunting the campus...and the secret society conducting bizarre rituals. Can Olive and Maps ace the biggest challenge of their lives? Or are they about to get schooled?

Review:  There are many graphic novels written about Batman, but Gotham Academy has a new conceit. In this series, Bruce Wayne is the benefactor to Gotham Academy. While does have a presence in the graphic novel, he is regulated to the background and pops in at very interesting times throughout the novel. The students take center stage, particularly Olive Silverlock who has had a traumatic summer. She struggles to get back into her school routine while showing around new student Maps Mizoguchi and trying to avoid her ex, Kyle, Maps's older brother. With a possible ghost knocking on the walls and secret societies roaming the halls, Olive isn't coping well with the knowledge of her mother's precarious health condition, her studies, and her classmates' bullying. On top of all the school drama, Olive begins to remember bits and pieces about a fire and keeps running into a mysterious stranger with glowing eyes who seems to know her more than she knows him, she bands with other school misfits to uncover some of Gotham Academy's dark secrets. 
  I loved that the cast of the characters are quirky, full of energy, and are extremely diverse. I like how all the characters took time to get together and build their friendships at a natural pace. I'm not really sure how Bruce Wayne is figured into Olive's mother's illness or why Olive has such a great disliking to the Dark Knight, but I definitely want to know more. The art is vibrant and captures the gloomy and creepy atmosphere of the academy. The text has the right amount of campy dialogue and humor to off set the darker undertones of the overall story. While we do solve the bigger mystery of the mysterious person lurking in the halls of the academy, we are left with plenty of questions. I definitely will continue to this series.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are some disturbing images and brief language. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: Batgirl by Cameron Stewart, Batman: Lil Gotham by Dustin Nguyen
3 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    This sounds like such a fun read Rummanah! I definitely want to know what happened to Olive and how she suddenly acquired her fear of bats and the Dark Knight. Looking forward to your thoughts on the next volume!

  2. Kindlemom Says:

    Very interesting take on this, I love how different it is! Great review. ;D

  3. I really need to get my cousin to get off his duff and come to your blog. I think he would love the manga (or his boys would) that you review!

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