Gotham Academy Vol 2: Calamity by Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher picks up at issue #7 of the series and takes us through issue #12 as it reveals more and more of Olive’s past as we peak into the going ons at Gotham’s prestigious prep school.
Olive Silverlock and her crew of intrepid teenage investigators of mysteries both normal and paranormal are faced this time around with werewolves and were-bats and ghosts. But also with appearances by the likes of Dr. Langstrom The Man-Bat, The Riddler, Damian the son of Bruce Wayne and the Red Robin as well.
Central to the story is the search by Olive Silverlock into her past and the identity of her mother. A woman she is beginning to learn was a tragic villain whose power of combustion may have caused not only great damage but lives. A power that may be raging to be free inside Olive as well.
What I think I really like about this book is it’s originality. Yes it borrows from various themes we all know, teenage sleuths and teenage angst. But it also deals with more adult themes such as acceptance and loss. Olive is grieving for her mother but is beginning to realize that her mother may actually be alive. A fact that is at times both hopeful and terrible. She is also learning that she was sent to Gotham Academy less for her own well being but perhaps so that she could be watched.
Calamity, the second storyline in Gotham Academy gives more time to the secondary characters this time around. Especially the lovable Mia “Maps” Mizoguchi. Maps takes up much of the early part of this story and her dealings with the angry and grumpy Damian Wayne and her geek out moments with the Red Robin remind us that these characters are really only kids.
Gotham Academy is a terrific departure from the normal Batman lines, staying fun and cool while maintaining the series overall dark theme. This is Scooby Doo meets Batman in a haunted school campus. It really is that much fun!