Gotham Academy: Second Semester
When a member of Detective Club is forced to stand trial for expulsion, the rest of the gang must rally for a rescue.
Creators: Brenden Fletcher, Jon Lam
Reader Appeal: Ages 12 and up
Publisher Rating: Teen
PopFam Rating: A-
A moment of honesty: I’m fairly new to the world of comic books, but I was immediately intrigued by Gotham Academy: Second Semester. My inner “teacher’s pet” was overjoyed at a comic with a high school setting and I was immediately drawn to the strong female character on the cover.
As I’m sure you could assume, Gotham Academy is set in the same mythos as Batman. But don’t be fooled! Batman is not the central character. This series follows Olive Silverlock and her classmates at Gotham Academy, the city’s most prestigious prep school.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this comic. Although I’m in my mid-twenties, I still relish in undertones of high school drama. (Embarrassing, I know.) But Feltcher delivers a storyline that skillfully balances teenage emotion with the superhero plot expected from DC Comics.
My absolute favorite part about this series is that these superhuman characters still struggle through the ups and downs of high school! As someone who is finally out of her awkward phase (thank goodness!), this comic makes me think back on my school years and sigh with relief that the characters are going through the same thing I did. I’m positive that teens will find the characters relatable. I mean, how great is it that even students with superhuman powers are no match for group projects and the opposite sex?
Stylistically speaking, Lam does a fantastic job of creating visual depth on each page. His choice of rich jewel tones sets the emotion of the scene the instant the reader flips the page. I also appreciate that the art looks relevant while keeping elements that are quintessential of comic books. Any teenager could feel like they were looking at their friends drawn on the page, but any adult will be reminded of the comics they grew up reading.
Parents, you might have some hesitation on letting your middle schooler enjoy storylines centered on high school antics. Although rated for teens, the emotional level of this content is comparable to many Nickelodeon shows, like iCarly or Victorious. If you let your children watch shows freely on Nickelodeon, you’ll be in the clear!
Let's Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this comic book:
• Would you’ve attended the Midnight Carnival? Why?
• In the Hall of Mirrors, the ringmaster tells Olive she can see everything she’s ever been and everything that she’s ever wanted to be. Which of your memories do you think you’d see in the mirrors? What do you think you’d see for the future?
• What’s the hardest part of school? Would having superpowers make things easier or more difficult?
All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.