Gotham Academy #17 Review

359310._SX640_QL80_TTD_By Brenden Fletcher, Adam Archer, Sandra Hope, Steve Wands, Annie Wu, Sergio Lapointe, David Petersen, Michael Dialynas
Maps’ secret journal has been stolen by Robin while her and Silver take a trip down memory lane to remember the importance of reading.

For a story about preteens and teens in love and also magic, a good amount of this issue focused on books. Spell books, secret books, more spell books. Like the other Yearbook issues, parts of this work while others don’t.
The reunion of Pomeline and Heathcliff (meriting a cameo by the Black Canary band) is bittersweet and touching, but my favorite part had to be the Gilkey Warlocks. It’s a short look at a group of friends who just wanted to play a “Dudgeons and Dragons” like game and mysteriously finished during one play through. The other story featured a surprise cameo by Klarion the Witch-Boy and felt really out of place for the book, despite pyrokenesis, boybats, werewolves, and ghosts already appearing in the series.
The art for each story was mostly done by a different artist and each one established their own look for their segments. Dialynas’ Klarion story had a real children’s book aesthetic with exaggerated faces and body proportions, while Petersen’s look at the Gilkey Warlocks had a classic Peter Gross like style in a Harry Potter setting. Connecting every part was Adam Archer’s Manga looking penciling, but somehow left less of an impression this go around compared to the other artists.
Not the strongest issue for this arc, but better than some of the earlier ones. Fletcher seems to really be trying to build an overarching narrative that’s separate from the personal lives of the cast, and whether or not this was the plan from the start, it doesn’t interest me as much as the characters themselves. Seeing snapshot vignettes of them isn’t as satisfying as watching all of them go through an adventure in a whole issue, although the former does allow for more offbeat story potential. Even the inclusion of Robin isn’t doing much for me right now.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent.

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