Gotham Academy: Second Semester, Vol.1: Welcome Back by Brendan Fletcher is a terrific and creative series that has one foot in the Batman Universe and for the rest, stands quite comfortably on its own. If there was a comic that was begging to be made into a television series, this one is it!
For Gotham Academy student Olive Silverlock, the winter holiday are the worst. As the school empties out, even her little detective club leaves, a new student arrives to help keep Olive company. The new girl is Amy and soon the duo find themselves up to no good as Amy convinces Olive to vandalize the Chapel.
Soon the detective club returns from break and Olive quickly finds out that there is much more to Amy than meets the eye. The detective club soon finds itself battling against a new group who call themselves the witch club. The witch club begins to pull dangerous pranks on the other students and soon Olive’s good friend Maps goes missing. The detective club discovers that the witch club has taken her and that they are being controlled by circuit boards in their hats.
The detective club figures out who is leading the witch club and stop him but not before one of their own is expelled and an even greater mystery is unearthed. The Lost Book of Gotham.
Gotham Academy is a book that you would not think to take seriously, but demands to be taken seriously. With its cast of characters, it is more suited for something aligned with Archie Comics than Batman but that is where you make your mistake. It is gritty and stylist and noire and at its core, a detective story. Its artwork cries out Scooby and the Gang or even Buffy but its story is pure Gotham.
DC made the right choice continuing this series with the Rebirth line and hopefully more and more fans will find it!
House of M, by Brian Michael Bendis, is one of the most influential books in the Marvel Universe. Even though it has now been conceded, that this was simply a very creative way of trimming the excessive Mutant line of books in the Marvel world. Which, when you consider that the mutants were created as a way for the early creators of Marvel, Stan Lee and his gang, to make a social comment on the civil rights movement and the treatment of African Americans in the United States; the House of M books take a far more sinister curve.
Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlett Witch is losing touch with reality. Which unfortunately is a very dangerous thing when it comes to her. Because Wanda can create and re-create reality to whatever suits her desires. Her children. Twins born between a love between her and the Avenger known as the Vision. Her brother and father together, harmonious and not fighting. A world where she is happy. A world very different from the one she is in right now.
Wanda is in hiding, having lost control of her powers and resulting in the death of several Avengers, including her own husband; the Vision, she is being hidden away by Professor X and her father Magneto. But that is only a temporary solution as she slips deeper and deeper into her delusions. The Avengers and the X-Men know they need to do something to stop her and what they come up with is a final solution. Wanda Maximoff must die.
Realizing what is happening, Wanda is convinced to change the world where it is ruled by Magneto. A world where her family, including her children are the ruling class and the Avengers and the X-Men are not needed. To keep them from interfering, she gives them what they want. She gives them peace. But her reality does not work on everyone and some of Earth’s heroes begin to remember what they were and what the world is really suppose to be like. Now, the remaining few must do battle with the House of M.
Besides the social implications of this book, the near eradication of a race or species, however you like to categorize your mutants. The House of M series is important in far more aspects for its character development and character destruction. Have we seen Magneto as broken as he appears here? Captain America turned into a non-factor? Wolverine torn between loyalties and the intense love between brother and sister that would end with the now infamous words, “…no more mutants…”.
House of M is one of the major books in the mutant universe that any fan or avid reader should not ever miss.
A terrific read!