Released: July 25th 2017
Received: Borrowed from a friend
Issues: #1-3, 5-8
When I first started reading Gotham Academy, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, and if I’m being honest, I thought it would be a slightly juvenile series that I would grow tired of fairly quickly. Let me tell you just how wrong I was about that. Every volume (this one in particular) seems to up the ante on dark revelations and surprising twits. If you haven’t read the series before, I highly recommend going back and starting from the beginning (and don’t forget to read the cross-over with the Lumberjanes, it’s so cute and funny!).
Olive Silverlock is the only student staying at the school over holiday break and yes, it is exactly as boring and dreary as it sounds for poor Olive. Things pick up pretty quickly for her once her new roommate arrives (fun fact: it isn’t Maps, much to the younger girl’s dismay). Amy forces Olive to try new things and push the boundaries of what she’s comfortable with (such as breaking her teacher’s window in revenge for ditching her). Needless to say, from there things spiral pretty quickly for Olive.
There’s a whole bunch of other stories and events up in the air, such as Pom’s quest to finally reach her family’s legacy (something she’s been obsessed about from the beginning, mind you), Colton’s near expulsion, Maps going missing, and a visit from Batman. While everything gets resolved along the way, they all have pretty dramatic consequences and revelations at the end.
I’ll start with the one that felt the most side quest feeling, which was Maps getting brainwashed. Ironically this actually sets off a chain of events that bring us to everything else; but for some reason it just felt disjointed to me. Maps gets kidnapped by a witch and starts stealing and then burning books. It turns out the whole thing is a plot to get revenge about Mr. Scarlet (who had similar motives to Pom, though less pure, which is saying something). This event led to Colton getting busted by a teacher, Pom getting her hands on the map (the one that helps that solve the final bits of the puzzle for her), as well as a handful of other events.
Now on to all the revelations I mentioned earlier: All I can say is poor Colton. It’s so easy to think that Olive has it worse than the rest of the kids, being an orphan, but just because one of the characters has a bad time of it doesn’t mean the others are doing fantastic. Colton removing his sunglasses not only finally showed us his eyes, but everything he has been going through too, and it just made my heart ache for him (throw in the whole in love with Kyle plot, and you just want to hug the kid).
It turns out that the ties that bind Pom and Olive run deeper than just their friendship, but I’ll let the volume tell you the whole story. Let it just be said that between that plot twist and the revelation about Olive’s ancestry had my mind blown. Throw in the fact that Batman knew this and in my opinion, acted poorly to “prevent” it (aka unintentionally cause it by not considering a young girl’s feelings), and you have a whole level of intensity and insanity going on. I can’t wait for the next volume to come out so I can see where it leads from here.