I couldn't be more excited right now…Gotham Academy is back! From DC Comics, written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher, with guest artist Mingjue Helen Chen (normally Karl Kerschl), this is the big issue that everyone has been talking about. At the end of issue #6 we got the big reveal that Damian Wayne is a new student at Gotham Academy. I don't know about you, but I couldn't wait to find out how he would interact with the students.
[*Warning: Mild spoilers for Issue #7 below!]
Issue #7 focuses on just that. Damian now attends the school, and Maps discovers this because of her magical quill that she stole from the Headmaster a few issues back. Yep, that's right…a magical quill! As Maps forms her dream team for the game Serpent and Spells, things get a little out of control. Impressed by Damian's reputation she scribbles down his name next to hers and before she knows it, the two are magically joined together by the hands. Now, they must figure out a way to separate, which means lots of help from friends around Gotham Academy.
I really can't express enough how well put together this issue is. Cloonan and Fletcher write a fun, clever, well-written script. Being a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe, I appreciated the nods to The Raven. Beyond that, I truly feel that the creative duo has built a distinct world, and clearly have a deep connection to the characters and the setting. You can feel the passion and dedication that goes into making this comic great. It was an interesting change to not have the normal inner dialogue coming from Olive. Having Maps in that position allowed for a much more silly, light-hearted stream of consciousness. I found it to be pretty refreshing.
Now, normally we are delighted with the brilliant art of Karl Kerschl, but this issue features guest artist Mingjue Helen Chen. I have to say, I really enjoyed her style. It has a lighter, more blended together water-color feel. It kind of makes the characters appear in a dream-like state, and sets a less gloomy tone for the book. I don't know if I would like this art style long term. I definitely prefer Kerschl's work, but this was a nice treat.
Overall, I'm so pleased with the direction the series is headed. I don't want to give away how things play out with Maps and Damian throughout the issue, but if you have any doubts, I can assure you this is a great issue. I look forward to following this diverse cast of characters on many more adventures, and honestly cannot wait for the next issue to release!
Christine Marie is a Staff Writer at Bleeding Cool, and bibliomaniac with a love for all things creative. She hopes to one day be a Superhero/Disney Princess/Novelist. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @AWritersWay or on her blog writerchristinemarie.wordpress.com.