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Review: Gotham Academy #12


After Kyle has gone missing, his little sister Maps is being interviewed at Gotham Academy by a Gotham City Police Officer. A few minutes into the interview, Maps fakes crying down the hall. Olive offers to go comfort and retrieve her for the police officer.


After initially attempting to console Maps, Olive realizes that she was faking to buy them time. Maps knows that the police and school faculty want to send her home. The two of them plot to have Katherine, Maps’ roommate, to dress as Maps and be sent home for her allowing Maps time to go find Kyle with the gang.


Olive suggests they take the tunnels to Arkham Asylum where they believe Kyle is being held captive (this is because in issue 11, there was a key to Arkham Asylum left in Kyle’s locker after he had went missing) and potentially Calamity/her mother, too. Instead of taking the tunnels, Maps has a different plan.


Honking around the corner, Colton and Pomeline speed up in a black and possibly stolen convertible offering Olive and Maps a ride.


On the drive over, Pomeline shares with Olive some research she’s found in regards to Calamity. She warns Olive to not assume that her mother is in Calamity, still, but rather that Calamity is her own monstrous entity. In sharing this with her, Pomeline accidentally reveals that Calamity relentlessly killed Olive’s dad years ago.


Just as the conversation heats up, Colton stops the car and notifies the group that they’ve arrived at Arkham Asylum. Pomeline suggests that Olive stay outside because she technically is a liability due to her relationship with her Calamity.


While walking through a hallway, Maps yells for her brother, Kyle. He responds on another floor, giving the group direction on where to find him.


Meanwhile, while sitting on the hood of the convertible outside, Olive hears in her mind someone calling her who she believes to be her mother. She glances at a window in Arkham Asylum and sees a silhouette of what could be Calamity. She begins searching through a tunnel, seeking her mom but instead, hears Kyle calling for help.


As she’s getting close to where Kyle is, she again hears Calamity calling for her. She decides to let the group find Kyle while she is determined to not let Calamity get away once again. After pounding on the door to the room Calamity is in, it slowly begins to creek open.


The group finds Kyle locked in a room. We see from Kyle’s side that he is hanging onto the door’s bars while barely standing on a ledge that is rapidly falling beneath him. After unlocking the door with the key they discovered last issue, they swing open the door while Kyle is hanging on to the ledge with one hand. Maps quickly pulls rope out of her backpack, allowing her and Colton to jump and save Kyle. Colton locks wrists with Kyle, saving him just in time.


Once Pomeline pulls the three of them up, Kyle inquires where Olive is. He feels like she’s in trouble.


Olive pushes open the door, seeing only a table with Calamity’s robe and white wig lying on it. A voice in the corner of the room suggests, “She’s still alive in you, Olive.” Professor Strange approaches out of the dark, revealing to Olive how he had worked with her mom for years, researching Calamity and the secrets that have been tied to her for generations. After telling her to take up her mom’s cloak and become Calamity, Olive angrily asks how her mother died. As the red in her eyes become more evident, Professor Strange believes Calamity is taking over Olive. He excitedly asks what she (Calamity) hid in the tunnels (perhaps this will be explored in a future story arc). He demands she show herself to him.


From the group’s point of view, we hear Professor Strange’s screams. They race upstairs to find Olive alone in a flaming room staring at a now broken window. She states that Calamity saved her from Professor Strange.


Before she can finish her story, the group has to race out of Arkham Asylum.


Back at Gotham Academy, Olive is talking with Professor MacPherson. Concluding the issue, we read Olive’s thoughts, “For the first time in a long time, I feel whole.”


Final Thoughts

This issue was jam-packed so I’ll be brief in my thoughts. I absolutely love Gotham Academy. While giving resolution to this arc, the mystery of Olive and Calamity potentially residing in her has me eager to read issue #14 (issue #13 is a Robin War tie-in so I doubt we’ll see much progression in this story arc). The art as usual was fun while also tense, in particular the sequence between Olive and Professor Strange.


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