Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Artist – David Marquez
Colours – Justin Ponsor
Brian Michael Bendis brings the fun to this book as well as giving Tony a problem, though when is there a time when Tony does not have a problem or ten making themselves known? This time it takes the form of Victor Von Doom, newly armour-free, face healed and wanting to not necessarily atone, but to at least make peace with his one-time ally. Tony does not like Doom, does not trust the man and really wants nothing to do with him. Of course he voices these opinions but it is like talking to a brick wall and said brick wall soon informs Tony that Whitney Frost, better known as Madame Masque, is collecting mystical artifacts which means Tony is going to have one more confrontation, sooner rather than later. Though this book features a lot of inaction does not mean that it lagged or was uninteresting in any respect. In fact, it was quite the opposite as it really breezed by and because Bendis seems to really understand Tony, his voice and his motivations, it helped to make this not only a quick read, but one of the very best to come out during the entire week. This is the Tony that we have come to know and love from the films, the fast-talking, quick-witted and sharp futurist. Taking those sensibilities and merging them with his comic book counterpart was smart, not that there was much of a leap to make in the first place. David Marquez is the perfect artist for the armoured hero with everything looking extremely sharp and clean and Justin Ponsor’s colours making his work really pop off the page. Questions arise from all of this though, such as what Doom’s ultimate purpose in trying to befriend Tony might be? What is Madame Masque up to and is she working for someone else? For a while now, there have been those that doubt Bendis’ ability to tell a captivating story and it is good to say that this book will prove them wrong.
4 out of 5
Writer – Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher
Artist – Karl Kerschl, Msassyk, Mingjue Helen Chen
Colours – Serge LaPointe, Msassyk
Under the pretense of joining a field trip to see a tennis match, Olive is determined to get some answers to the ongoing mystery of what happened to her mom. Breaking up into two teams, one of them being Olive and Maps, they head out to find some records at City Hall. There, they run into Red Robin and someone they did not expect to find at all, Olive’s mom Calamity. Gotham Academy continues to be one of the more family-friendly books on the stands today thanks to this creative team and more importantly, one that has retained the same quality in both writing and art as it has had right from the start. Though Olive is the lead protagonist of the book, Maps steals the show once again as her incredible sense of wonder and joy makes you smile every time. Here, she is in charge of the plan that the others follow and though it seems a little funny for one little girl to be in charge of a mission to break into a couple of buildings looking for records, the others follow without question and that in itself is also quite humourous. Though our heroes find a little of what they are looking for, the meeting with Calamity is an interesting one as she does not seem to be there to harm them. Instead, it turns out to be another piece of the puzzle as she has left them exactly that. What is a little frustrating is that it is taking so long to get to the bottom of the mystery. It almost seems a little reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars in the fact that you keep learning things about said mystery but never get closer to the solving of it. Still, like any good thriller, it keeps you guessing and waiting in anticipation for that next issue.
4 out of 5