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|Publication date||December 2014 – August 2017|
|No. of issues||30 plus 1 Annual|
|Written by||Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher|
|Artist(s)||Karl Kerschl, Babs Tarr, Becky Cloonan|
|Colorist(s)||Michele Assarasakron, Dave McCaig, John Rauch|
Gotham Academy is an ongoing comic book series published by DC Comics. The series takes place in the DC Universe's Batman mythos and follows Olive Silverlock, a teenage girl, and her friends as they encounter the mysteries and threats of Gotham's most prestigious prep school, Gotham Academy which happens to be just across the road from the Arkham Asylum. The series is meant to be a teen drama as well as spooky and dark.
Gotham Academy was launched in October 2014 as a part of the ninth and final wave of comics under DC's New 52 imprint. It was created by writers Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher and artist Karl Kerschl. A second volume of the series, titled Gotham Academy: Second Semester, debuted with DC's Rebirth initiative. A six issue crossover miniseries between it and Boom! Studios's Lumberjanes was released in June 2016.
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This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (July 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
After distancing herself from her friends and breaking up with her boyfriend over the summer, Olive attends a new school year at the academy after a run-in with Batman. She finds herself bullied at the start of the semester due to word spreading that her mother was instated at Arkham Asylum. At the behest of her friend Mia "Maps" Mizoguchi, the two begin exploring the archaic halls of the academy. After seeing some masked figures on campus, Olive investigates, only to find her classmates Pomeline Fritch and Pomeline's boyfriend Heathcliff are part of a secret society, and they are attempting to capture the ghost of Millie Jane Cobblepot, who is apparently haunting the grounds. Olive interrupts them in the midst of a ritual, and apparently causes Millie Jane to run amok across campus. Olive promises Pomeline that she will attempt help catch the ghost, who is connected to a rare book that Olive owns, The Diary of Millie Jane Cobblepot. While searching for the ghost, Olive and Maps spot a blonde boy who Olive swears is familiar, but she cannot recall how she knows him.
Realizing that Millie Jane's ghost is connected to the abandoned North Hall (which was destroyed after a fire earlier in the year), Olive, Maps, and Pom ask Colton Rivera for help, a student who can sneak them into the off-limits hall. Inside, the four find strange symbols on the ground next to a large hole. Pom drops her phone into the hole on accident, and when Olive attempts to fish it out, a large hand burst from the hole, and the group runs out of the hall screaming. This alerts campus security, and the hall is put on lockdown, making entry nearly impossible.
The group decides to investigate the strange symbols they found in North Hall, and realize that a paranoid boy named Eric has been drawing them. Olive and Maps interrogate him, but he only mentions seeing them in the girl's dorm. That night, Olive and Maps spot the ghost of Millie Jane. Olive attacks the spirit, only to discover it is a dummy attached to strings. Following the strings to the rooftop, Olive discovers that Heathcliff has been faking the ghosts existence in hopes of convincing Pomeline that her rituals were doing something. Olive promises to keep it a secret, and begins walking back to her room, when she spots the mysterious symbol on the wall in a staircase. She pushes on the symbol, discovering it leads to tunnels that connect the entire campus between the walls and underground. She begins looking through the tunnels, and discovers on the wall outside of her room, there are pictures of her and her mother taped up. Just then however, Olive turns to find that a startled Killer Croc has been living here, who broke out of Arkham when it collapsed.
Wanting to find out the connection between Killer Croc and her mother, Olive explains everything to Maps, Pom, and Colton, the three promising to help Olive. Maps figures that the only place Croc could be hiding is in the North Hall, though the group needs Colton's fireworks bag to get through a blocked tunnel to the hall, which is in the headmaster's office. Luckily, a dance was being held that night, creating a diversion for the group. On their way to the North Hall, Olive spots a figure she assumes is Batman following them, and shoots it out of the sky with a crossbow she took from the headmaster's office. Olive finds it is the blonde boy, Tristan, who has been affected by the Langstrom Virus, causing him to sometimes become a mutated half-bat creature. He explains that he knows Olive from the night the North Hall burned down when she was sleepwalking and he flew down to save her.
Finally breaking into the North Hall, Olive and the others confront Croc and they begin to talk with him. Croc explains that he knew Olive's mother, Sybil from Arkham and she asked him to look out for her daughter. In the midst of talking however, they find smoke-bombs thrown into the building as Batman descends and begins to fight Croc. The cops show up amidst the battle, as the group runs, all but Olive, who lights the bag of fireworks that Colton left behind, effectively burning the North Hall once more in an attempt to kill Batman. The roof begins to come down and Croc rescues Olive then retreats into the tunnels. Croc explains how her mother had two personalities, a caring one, and a frightening, darker one. He says how he connected with the caring side of Sybil. The tunnel exits into a swamp, where the two bid goodbye, Croc telling her that she should come and find him one day. Olive walks back to campus, reunited with Maps and Pom. Later that night however, Olive goes to the roof, where Batman is waiting for her. It is revealed that she despises Batman because he is the one who put her mother in Arkham, but Batman tells her that Arkham was the only place that could protect Gotham from Olive's mother. Then, when Batman asks where Millie Jane Cobblepot's Diary is Olive says it burned up in the fire
The following Friday, Maps' older brother and Olive's ex-boyfriend, Kyle Mizoguchi, confronts Olive, and the two realize they are still in love. Later, Maps suddenly realizes that the mysterious symbol is two inverted, interconnected "A"s, that the five assume stands for Arkham Asylum, explaining that the tunnels connected to the asylum before its collapse. The group takes pride in their work, and decide to call themselves the Detective Club.
Later, someone breaks into an empty room, where Millie Jane's diary is still intact. The perpetrator takes the diary and heads to the headmaster's office, where Bruce Wayne is sitting, and it is revealed that the culprit is Damian Wayne. Damian gives Bruce the diary, the headmaster welcoming Damian to the academy.
Gotham Academy returns with a simple and quick one-shot involving the co-lead of the comic, Mia "Maps" Mizoguchi and Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne's son. The issue follows Maps and Damian as they encounter an adventure led by a "magical" quill pen Maps took from the headmaster's office in issue five. The issue ends with Damian taking the blame for the stolen quill and being expelled from the academy.
Olive's mother dies and she, Tristan, Kyle, and Maps attend her funeral. Bruce Wayne is seen in attendance. Later, back at Gotham Academy, Kyle sees Tristan watching him while playing tennis, and follows him to the laboratory. He sees Tristan transform into a Man-Bat, startling him. He tries to warn Olive, but she heads off to meeting with the school guidance counselor, Professor Hugo Strange. Kyle and Maps overhear her mention Tristan and they decide to search his dorm room. Tristan finds them, transforms into a Man-Bat, and flies out the window. They find him in the graveyard, wounded. They take him to Professor Kirk Langstrom, who tells them to find Isla McPherson. Kyle finds Olive, tells her about Tristan, and they kiss. After Kyle leaves, Olive finds a letter from her mother under the dock.
Second Semester: Issues #1-12
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Olive is shown to have stayed at Gotham Academy for in- between semester break while all other attendees, including the detective club, have returned home. Olive's new roommate, Amy, arrives and Olive begrudgingly gives her a tour of the academy. Amy convinces Olive to let out her anger by vandalizing the chapel. They run into Eric who has the key to the chapel and when he has an asthma attack, Amy takes Eric's backpack which contains his inhaler and locks the door so Eric and Olive can't get out. Eric and Olive eventually escape the chapel and regain Eric's inhaler. The students of Gotham Academy are shown to have returned.
The Detective Club is on the lookout for new mysteries to solve and suddenly students start mysteriously disappearing, including one of Kyle's tennis teammates. Later, Maps is putting up advertisements for club services and stumbles upon the "witch club". She sees Kyle's missing teammate among them. Kyle runs after the club and is knocked out by a woman in a floppy, purple witch hat with a broom. Maps finds him knocked out and also discovers a creepy cabin. Inside she sees the witch club. She is then hypnotized by the same witch who knocked out Kyle. The detective club discovers Maps is gone and suspect the witch club has taken her. Later, the detective club is seen watching the witch club do a ritual of some sort that involves collecting books from all over the academy. The detective club follows a member of the witch club to find out more about the ritual. They discover the members of the witch club have been hypnotized by a small circuit board in the hats they wear. Colton and Pomeline make a trip to the shop room to find tools to reverse engineer the circuit boards. While there, Pom and Colton discuss Colton's obvious crush on Kyle. When a teacher enters the room, Colton leads the teacher away from Pomeline and gets caught. The detective club stops the ritual and un-hypnotizes the students of Gotham Academy. Though, while the ritual is happening they see symbols alike to the etchings in the lost Book of Old Gotham. The leader and instigator of the witch club turns out to be Prof. Pio, the English teacher at Gotham Academy. As a result of his trouble making over the years, Colton is expelled from the Academy.
As a flashback to the previous issue, Colton is shown to have uncovered numerous secret passageways when attempting to avoid being caught in the shop room. He discovers Mr. Scarlet, also known as The Bookworm, a villain in the 1960s Batman TV show, drawing on a map. When Mr. Scarlet is not looking, he takes the map and on his way out, he runs into the headmaster. The headmaster claims it is his map and Colton is expelled from the academy. Pomeline calls her mom, who is a lawyer, and delays Colton's expulsion to schedule a trial that will determine Colton's fate. During the trial, Pomeline leaves with Tristan, leaving Colton devastated. Tristan is shown to be helping Pomeline look for something. They discover etchings from the lost Book of Old Gotham in the Wedgewood Museum. The detective club, excluding Pomeline and Colton, go looking for Pomeline and suspect she is at the Wedgewood Museum. Eric is shown to be eavesdropping on Pomeline and Tristan when they are discussing the location of the lost Book of Gotham.
- Olive Silverlock: A second year student at Gotham Academy and the series' main protagonist whose mother was once a Gotham super-villain named Calamity before being put in Arkham Asylum by Batman. Olive resents the dark knight because of this. She returned to Gotham Academy after some time off with a newfound depression, being an outcast from several of her old friends, aside from her best friend and underclassmen Maps and her ex-boyfriend, Kyle. Like her mother, Sybil Silverlock, Olive appears to have white hair and reddish eyes. Olive is part of the detective club formed at Gotham Academy. Over the course of the series she is slowly developing Pyrokinesis similar to her mom.
- Mia "Maps" Mizoguchi: Kyle's little sister, Olive's best friend and a curious underclassmen. Maps is optimistic and admires Gotham City's superheroes. She is obsessed with urban exploration and cartography, hence her nickname. She is also a known friend of Damian Wayne, who attends Gotham Academy in issue 7. She is part of a detective club, formed at Gotham Academy that includes Olive, Kyle, and other students.
- Pomeline Fritch: An occultist and Olive's on-again, off-again friend, Pomeline, also known as "Pom," is directly involved with some of Gotham Academy's mysterious ghost sightings, and teams up with Olive to put the spirits to rest is issues one to six of Gotham Academy. She formerly dated Heathcliff until he dropped out. Pomeline is also a member of the detective club, a club formed at the academy by Maps Mizoguchi and other students.
- Colton Rivera: Described as the "school liar" by Olive, Colton Rivera is a prankster and the Gotham Academy's number one source of illegal fireworks. Colton also has expertise on lock-picking and other useful skills. He is a part of the detective club, a club formed at the academy. Colton is easily distinguished by his black sunglasses, which he wears constantly. It has been heavily implied throughout the series that Colton has a crush on Kyle Mizoguchi, Olive's ex-boyfriend and Maps' older brother. Colton was just recently expelled from Gotham Academy in Gotham Academy: Second Semester #3.
- Kyle Mizoguchi: Olive's ex-boyfriend and Maps' older brother, Kyle is a tennis prodigy. Although he and Olive have broken up, he is still concerned for her well being, especially as her outings and emotional state affect his little sister. Kyle is a member of the detective club, a club at the academy founded by his sister, Maps and other students.
- Tristan Grey: Gotham Academy's mysterious new student, he is infected with a virus that causes him to turn occasionally into a half-bat creature. He and Olive are romantically interested in each other.
- Sybil Silverlock: Olive's mother and fire-based super-villain, Calamity who was put in Arkham Asylum by Batman. She is one of Batman's most mysterious adversaries, who was put into a coma after the collapse of Arkham Asylum.
- Eric Jorgensen: A paranoid student at Gotham Academy who is mostly seen drawing in his notebook or sometimes even helping the detective club with their investigations.
- Heathcliff Ray: A dropout student who is now the road manager for Black Canary. Heathcliff formerly dated Pomeline.
- Amy: Olive's new roommate who appeared in Gotham Academy: Second Semester #1. Amy is described as a stereotypical "tough girl" and has a lack of empathy for other characters in the series.
- Katherine Karlo: A student at Gotham Academy and Map's friend who appears frequently throughout the series. In Gotham Academy #10 it was discovered that Katherine is Clayface's daughter.
Gotham Academy has received extremely positive reviews since its beginning. IGN called the first issue "Great", saying that "Gotham Academy offers a fresh take on the Bat mythos, driven by Karl Kerschl's fantastic art." Newsarama gave it a 9 out of 10, citing "If this is a mark of where the ‘new’ New 52 is going, then the Bat-Signal is shining a little brighter this week."
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- Gotham Academy #2
- Gotham Academy #3
- Gotham Academy #4
- Gotham Academy #5
- Gotham Academy #6
- Gotham Academy #7
- Gotham Academy #8
- Gotham Academy: Second Semester #1
- Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2
- Gotham Academy: Second Semester #3
- Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5
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