Gotham Academy #1
All I can say is WOW. Gotham Academy #1 by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschel is a completely fresh take on Gotham. There is so much that I loved about this issue that I barely know where to start! Maybe I should preface my review by reinforcing my deep love of all teen dramas and all things Bat-family related. Much to my boyfriends dismay, if there’s an angsty teenager with high school drama, my interest is automatically peaked. The issue starts with Olive Silverlock and Maps being called into the principals office on the first day of school- the perfect introduction for us readers. Maps (and us) have Olive, a seasoned Gotham Academy student to show us the ropes of this unfamiliar school located in a very familiar city. Maps also happens to be the little sister of Kyle, the boy Olive is working on breaking up with and all we know about Olive is that she suffered some type of traumatic event over the summer, Batman knows who she is (!) and she’s completely changed because of it. I love that as readers, we’re experiencing this new piece of Gotham and being there as it builds its mythos every issue of the way. I especially appreciated Olive’s nonchalance in pointing out the Bat symbol, because assuming you’re a citizen of Gotham, I can’t imagine the symbol would carry much weight when you see it night after night. The character I’m looking most forward to learning more about is Pomeline Fritch because her character bio made her sound strangely awesome. I was surprised by her mean girl status and I want to get a better idea about the reasoning behind her actions. Also there’s a waffle bar in the cafeteria so that’s cool. Harry Potter comparisons aside, I think Gotham Academy is going to fill a void in my heart that I hadn’t known existed.
One of the comic titles that I was most looking forward to picking up and reading this past week was Thor #1 by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman. As I’m sure you’ve heard, our original Man-Thor (Comics Alliance referred to him as such and I quite like this nickname), is no longer worthy of wielding the mjolnir hammer and he is being replaced by a female Thor. The inscription on the hammer has even changed to read “if SHE be worthy.” Obviously, this is a story arc that catches my interest. After reading the first issue I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I am exceptionally pleased with the story because it sounds like it’s going to great, but on the other hand, I am disappointed that I still know nothing about female Thor. The big reveal at the end of the issue was the two page preview that’s been circulating online for some time now. Marvel marketed the issue as if it would be about female Thor, but actually, it was all about male Thor and his inability to pick up his hammer. I understand that a story needs groundwork, but I think the marketing was misleading. My other issue with Thor #1 is that for a story labeled as a #1, I sure felt like I was missing information from the last story arc. There’s a flashback of Nick Fury whispering words into Thor’s ear which caused him to drop the hammer, but we have no idea why that was happening or what Nick Fury said. I feel like these are not necessarily the worst criticisms and that is because I truly had enjoyed the issue and I am expecting better things from future issues. I’ve also read that many people think Freya is the new Thor. I think this is a possibility, but I am really hoping she isn’t. I would rather be introduced to a new character. My hopes are that she is a random Asgardian female who we’ll learn about and find out just why she is worthy. But alas, it’ll be another month before we gain more insight into her story.