When I first learned that DC and Boom! were crossing the streams to bring the hardcore lady types of Lumberjanes together with the detecting Gotham Academy club, I was pretty stoked. The first issue set out of the gate with a crashing promise that hasn’t really continued through the series. Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #5 continues to meander through a great idea that hasn’t quite achieved its full potential.
As both teams begin to fight back in earnest, it’s fun to watch everyone utilize their own skill set, all of which are badass. There’s plenty of humor spaced throughout, making this ride enjoyable, if still nonsensical. Conceptually, I enjoy the idea of an otherworldly party in which counselors/chaperones have reverted in age, and everyone has been thrown together. Mostly because the entire concept fits within both worlds; the Lumberjanes are totally accustomed to seeing this type of thing, and no one in the city of Gotham would find this wholly unusual.
Toward the end, it’s clear Olive is either remembering or embracing (either?) her latent fire abilities that have long been hinted at, and frequently cast to the side in the main Gotham Academy series. It’ll be interesting to see if the series investigates it in any meaningful manner, or if this, too, will simply shrug if off as unimportant or uninteresting. It’s been a long complaint of mine that the main Gotham Academy series doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up, and this extends to Olive. I would love to see one of the series commit to either making Olive a meta-type human, or just abandon this all together. But, I digress.
I’ve wracked my brain for a polite way to say ‘I fucking hate the art in this series,’ and regerttably, there just ain’t a way to sugarcoat that. It’s nothing against any of the artists involved, personally, it’s just not a style I enjoy. It’s been a low point in this series for me, which is unfortunate. I mention it only to say that I greatly appreciate the Matthews’ style more than previous issues.
Overall, the series, and this issue in particular, solicit little more than a shrug. I like aspects of it, but don’t love it. I dislike aspects, but don’t hate them. I am entirely neutral on this series, which isn’t what I hoped for when I read the first issue.
Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #5
Author: Chynna Clugston Flores
Artist: Kelly & Nichole Matthews
Publisher: DC Comics & Boom! Box
Publish date: 10/12/2016
Acquired via Publisher