Comic Book / Gotham Academy

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For over seventy-five years Gotham City has been established as a sprawling metropolis bursting at the seams with crime, corruption, and vice. Only the efforts of a few brave individuals such as The Batman keep the city from falling into ruins, at the hands of the infamous rogues that prowl its streets.

But this comic is not about any of that. (Except when it is.)

Gotham Academy is a monthly pseudo-spinoff of the Batman series by Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl that launched in 2014. As its name would imply, it's focused on the lives of the students attending Gotham's eponymous and most prestigious academy, particularly one Olive Silverlock. Attending her second year at the academy, she trudges through school life with a laundry list of personal problems and a knack for getting into trouble. Like many other famous schools, life at Gotham Academy is anything but normal.

In 2016, the series got a relaunch as part of DC Rebirth with a new title called Gotham Academy: Second Semester, in addition to a six issue crossover with Lumberjanes.

Gotham Academy contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Duh. It's where Killer Croc resides.
  • Academy of Adventure: How else are you going to make a teen drama in Gotham City? Anything and everything will happen. Oddball teachers, terrifying creatures, unsolved mysteries, and zany teenagers all call the place home.
  • Adorkable: Stated directly by Maps. The context has to be seen to be believed.
  • Adults Are Useless: They always insist that nothing is strange happening at the Academy when all signs clearly say that there is. It's not that they don't know, though; some of them think they're protecting the kids by denying the weirdness, while others are part of the problem.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Riko moves in, she becomes Olive's roommate. Additionally, she has the same backpack style as Maps. Maps is predictably less than pleased.
  • Art Shift:
    • The seventh issue, which focuses on Damian and Maps, has a noticeably softer and more anime-like art style compared to the rest of the issues. Justified by the change in artist and the fact that the story is told from the ever bubbly Map's perspective much like how the main story is narrated by Olive.
    • The fourteenth issue begins the Yearbook storyline, which takes a break from the main story to explore numerous side-stories a la Framing Device. All are drawn by different artists, with the 'main' setting keeping a consistent art style to act as the anchoring point for the narrative.
  • Betty and Veronica: Kyle as Betty and Tristan as Veronica to Olive's Archie.
  • Bland-Name Product: Serpents & Spells... which is Dungeons & Dragons with the Serial Numbers Filed Off.
  • Candlelit Bath: Olive takes one in Second Semester #1. When the candle goes out, she seemingly relights it with her mind.
  • Continuity Snarl: From Annual #1 with Batman: Superheavy. Derek Powers does already exist within the present day, and one could argue his falsified credentials were courtesy of his aunt Geri, who temporarily had the controlling share of Wayne-Powers in Superheavy. He is even name-dropped in that arc, revealed to be a college student attending overseas.
  • Covers Always Lie: Don't expect the covers to be indicative of what will happen in the actual comic. More often than not it doesn't.
  • Cameos: Many, including Bruce Wayne, Damian Wayne, Hugo Strange, Dr. Langstrom (Man-Bat), and more.
  • Death Glare: Maps is not pleased with Riko's visit.
  • Detective Club, Assemble!: Shouted by Maps.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: When Maps asks Damian if he's Batman when he pulls out a Batarang. Close, but not quite.
  • Framing Device: The Endgame tie-in and the Yearbook storyline both feature a premise involving the main characters telling stories. In the former, the students are housed together following a power outage caused by the Joker's Endgame, so naturally the main characters take the chance to share Joker-themed ghost stories while the main plot is explored. In Yearbook, Maps is comforted by Olive when her idea for a yearbook club is rejected, leading to a multitude of side-stories featuring (mis)adventures several of the Academy cast had undertaken, all removed from the main plot of the entire book.
  • Lighter and Softer: Zig-zagged. Few of Gotham's most terrifying villains have shown up on the comic thus far, rendering the sense of danger and fear more muted compared to other Batman-related stories. However, the bullying present in the story as well as the clear social and psychological problems Olive has is a topic frequently touched upon as part of the ramifications of living in Gotham.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: In the Annual Derek Powers has come back in time to kill young Academy student Warren McGinnis, thereby preventing Terry McGinnis from ever existing.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Playing with Fire: Calamity gives this power to people in the Silverlock family and its latest target is Olive.
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: Often, what appears to be supernatural will turn out to be mundane - it's just that Gotham City has a very different standard for constitutes mundane. The students think the school is haunted because they hear chains rattling in the walls and spy glimpses of an inhuman figure? Turns out Killer Croc is living in the secret passages, and he still has his ankle chains on. A witch is enchanting students to do her bidding? Actually, it's a disgruntled teacher using Mad Hatter technology.
  • Secret Passages: Gotham Academy has tons of these.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Executed by Colton in Second Semester, #2.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Stated almost verbatim in #17.
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