Gotham Academy Annual #1 is written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher with pencils by Adam Archer, Michael Dialynas and Chris Wildgoose; Dialynas, Wildgoose and Sandra Hope on ink; with Dialynas and Serge Lapointe taking care of color.
First things first I think I need to explain to any new readers what an annual is. An annual is a comic issue which comes out yearly (duh). It is an issue with a self contained story and they are typically a little longer than a normal issue. I could go into why annuals exist but I won’t bore you with that.
Gotham Academy is a exclusive private school in Gotham for the bright and gifted, but the school has some dark secrets, like a ghost, a secret society performing experiments, and most of all the school’s strange benefactor, Bruce Wayne.
The issue starts off with a young girl having a bizarre recurring dream with a grandfather clock and a glowing skeleton. The student body all starts to become ill, with many having bite marks on their necks.
A group of friends calling themselves the “Detective Club” are hot on the case. The group splits up with one side thinking it’s vampires and the other citing that a strange visiting professor may have something to do with it. The groups eventually find the culprits and work together to defeat them.
The first thing that stands out to me is the resemblance to Netflix’s Stranger Things. A group of adolescents grouping together to fight something paranormal and one member has an extraordinary ability.
Gotham Academy was a fun read but it did not challenge me mentally or have me question the world around me. I was able to just sit back, relax, and become immersed in the world the comic creates for the reader.
Something that I always like in comics and other media is easter eggs. I love a reference to a past event, character, or place and this comic has a few easter eggs. One, which I always love, is a reference to Bruce Wayne being called loosey-Brucey. I love when characters say stuff about Bruce being a party animal. I get a kick out of no one suspecting him or that he is actually Batman.
The art team did a fantastic job and the art is my favorite kind of art. I can only describe it as smooth and has no sharp or jagged lines. The color is very cool, with dark blues during the night scenes that creates a more spooky atmosphere. The art team also used hot colors to accent arguments which is nice and is surprisingly done so seldom.
I really enjoyed this comic and will go back and start reading the series. I have already read the first issue. This comic is a great all ages comic and is a perfect comic to read to unwind after a hard day and is just a fun and enjoyable experience.
Pick up Gotham Academy Annual #1 today, you won’t regret it.