Mind Capsules – Gotham Academy #9 and Descender #6

Gotham Academy #9
Gotham Academy #9

Writer – Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher
Artist – Karl Kerschl
Colours – Serge LaPointe, Msassyk

Something attacked Tristan and the gang is determined to get to the bottom of it, especially Maps. Pomeline thinks that it is a werewolf and after they do a little investigating, they come to the conclusion that it is, proving Pomeline right. Olive meanwhile splits away from the group to do a little digging on her own about her past. Soon both investigations will run into each other and Olive’s powers rear their head once again. Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher and Karl Kerschl continue to make Gotham Academy not only a title for the young but the young at heart. Every issue has been a lot of fun and this book was no exception. The delving into Olive’s past continues and we are treated to another small nugget to add to what we already know. There is also a little more revelation as to how Tristan came to be at the school which is a good thing and what is even more interesting about him is how everyone, at least among the core characters, has come to accept him even though he is a man-bat. Maps is just as hilarious and engaging as ever and she has to be one of the best supporting characters introduced this year in any title from any publisher. With this issue Pomeline also gets a few moments to shine, something she has rarely done as the book tends to focus more upon Olive than anyone else. Helping to make this book a must-read each and every month is Kerschl’s artwork which gives it a real animated look and makes it a visual feast for the eyes. Of course, Cloonan and Fletcher tease us with the solving of one little mystery, but in the grand scheme of things and when looking at the larger picture, it is just a drop in the bucket compared to what is going on with Olive and what is going on with the school at large. While it would be nice to have everything revealed and laid out for us, then there would be no need for the book and as most readers can attest, not having this title around would be the bigger crime. An excellent book, pure and simple.

4.5 out of 5

Descender #6
Descender #6

Writer – Jeff Lemire
Artist – Dustin Nguyen

The secret origins of Doctor Quan’s robots are revealed and it turns out that the man is not who he claimed to be and is in fact, a fraud. That turns out to be the worst news for him and the crew but luckily, they are about to receive some help in a most unexpected form. In a book that has had very few twists and turns, Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen deliver a big one and it takes the book into a direction that is very uncertain for our characters and their universe at large. One character who is going to be affected by it more than any others is Quan himself. The man is a liar and has been lying for decades from what it seems and now because of it, it will have damaged his relationship with the crew and possibly even with Tim-21. What this tale does do is deliver and it does so without having the reader wait for twenty issues before doing so, instead solving one of its biggest mysteries at the end of the first arc. It is a fascinating read and Lemire expands his universe by revealing the secret origins of the robots within. For his part, Nguyen has been doing a fantastic job on the artistic side of things. One of the most intriguing and conscious decisions that he and Lemire have done is to make white the primary colour of the book. It gives it a clean, aesthetic look, suiting the story perfectly and making it a book that is much brighter than perhaps any other title on the stands. As the first arc ends, a new mystery makes itself known and finding out where it might lead is going to be a lot of fun if these first six issues are anything to go by.

4 out of 5

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