Writer: Brenden Fletcher
Artists: Adam Archer
Well, everyone’s favorite teenage detective is at it again.
This month’s Gotham Academy titled, Yearbook—Part Three, focuses on Maps and her “imaginary” yearbook. That fact alone qualifies it as a fun read where each turn of the page gives us increasing insight into Maps’ actively fictional mind; one we’ve always suspected exists.
Maps’ first yearbook entry exposes her extreme infatuation with Batman and her undying hope of one day wrestling the criminals of Gotham City as his trustworthy sidekick. Based on her infectious enthusiasm and insanely efficient detective skills, I think she’d be a welcomed asset to that role. The next entry reveals Maps’ frequent battle with boredom and how it often spurs her to create unique projects that will bring the Gotham Academy mystery gang together to solve riddles, even if they’re false. In this issue, she simulates a fake quest to find a hidden time capsule where “X” marks the spot by creating a pseudo, antique=looking map and passes it off as one drawn on campus in 1779 at the end of the first year of the Gotham Academy school.
Without a doubt, this brief jaunt through Maps’ secret world is absolutely charming. Along with entertaining stories, it relays Maps’ love of her classmates and how she believes they are better as a team than as individuals. I also liked the touch of mystery added into this story. It felt more like the classic Gotham Academy I’m accustomed to reading.
On the other hand, aside from the cover art by Mingle Helen Chen and the first few pages of the issue, I didn’t really care for most of the artwork. As with the other yearbook installments where the elementary depictions for each entry seemed intentional, I struggled to accept the unsophisticated style of the drawings.
Now that the yearbook series is over, I’m interested to see where the Gotham Academy team takes us next.