It’s time for everyone’s favorite game of the month: Why, oh why do I keep reading Gotham Academy? The answer is that my daughter reads GA, and I don’t let her read anything without pre-screening it, sooooooooo, onward I suffer. Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5 isn’t even that bad of an issue, it just continues the established pattern of having zero direction.
Two issues ago, the series saw our non-caped crusaders solving a mystery around campus that resulted in their friend Colton being threatened with expulsion from the titular Gotham Academy. ¡Que horor! Over the Christmas break, Gotham Academy: Second Semester #4 decided it saw something shiny at an old circus and instead took yet another trip down “So, like, Olive has these powers, but, like, doesn’t use them or understand them” lane, yet again, and now #5 is back to remind us that Colton is being expelled. Caught up? OK great.
Nearly half of the issue is spent revisiting the events that led the Colton’s situation, in which it is revealed, now, that he was caught stealing a map. I’d complain about how this is handled but at this point, I’m not sure I care. Despite spending time showing this, it’s not the meat of the issue. Unable to call his parents, Colton is seemingly left to his fate when Pomeline steps in with her mother to save the day.
BUT CAN SHE, or will her stealing the evidence needed to prove Colton’s innocence prevent it? Pomeline has, since the beginning, been a very complicated character. She is, at turns, a good friend and a wholly selfish individual with her own motivations. On one hand, I commend the series for revisiting a character note that was promptly forgotten from the very beginning of the series, and that is Pomeline’s obsession with her “birthright.” On the other hand, it feels like yet another odd tonal shift for the series.
But most importantly, it goes to motivation. Having her mother defend Colton, just so she could get easy access to Hammerhead’s map seems very convoluted, even for Pomeline. Also, everyone knows she’s the one who stole the map, meaning she’s never going to convince her friends of her innocence, or her friendship again. Or, rather, this should be her severing connections, but I’m sure everyone will forgive her because reasons.
Pomeline has been one of the more tolerable characters in the series (aside from Maps) throughout. This is such a devious turn for her, it feels like drama for the sake of drama. I might shrug it off if the series had anything resembling cohesion or consistency, but this whole issue feels like yet another weird turn that will end up being forgotten or cast aside for a dozen issues.
Author(s): Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl
Artist(s): MSASSYK, Adam Archer
Publisher: DC Comics
Publish Date: 01/11/17
Acquired via Purchase