Art by: MSASSYK, Adam Archer and Sandra Hope

Cover by:  Karl Kerschl

Written by: Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl

Release: 4/12/2017

Issue: 8

Publisher: DC Comics

The truth behind Olive’s family’s past is finally revealed in Gotham Academy: Second Semester #8 (2016-).

In issue #7 Olive learned the truth behind why she was sent to Gotham Academy.  She also learned that in her words her “only real friend” betrayed her by working with Batman.  Her only true friend, Professor MacPherson, was tasked by Batman to watch over Olive and report back to him.

Issue #8 picks up with Olive enraged and transformed into Calamity or a demon-like form with long fingernails and surrounded by flames.  The source of this power is revealed as being from a distant ancestor of Olive.  The ancestor has declared revenge on all who have wronged her.

Names of some high profile Gotham residents including Wayne, Dent and Cobblepot have all made the list.  

Elsewhere in the issue Pom and Colton are held hostage by the school librarian Professor “Bookworm.”  Pom has been searching for the Book of Gotham for the whole series and she finally found it just to have Bookworm take it away.  However, from this book the reader learns just how and why Olive and Pom’s families are forever connected.

Throughout the series the reader gets hints that Olive is something extraordinary.  In this issue we learn how and why.  It feels like the culmination of a good and long journey.  I was excited to see some of these Gotham Academy and Olive mysteries revealed.  Olive is now a little less of an enigma than before.  I would still like to have learned a little more about the actual academy itself and its mysteries though.

In many instances in the series we get Scooby Doo like reveals.  The group thinks a vampire is terrorizing the campus, but we learn it is just a result of a science experiment.  I’ve always liked these kind of bait-and-switch reveals.  In this issue we learn it is not Old Man Jenkins under a mask, but is indeed a real vengeful spirit possessing Olive.

The series has always been very well executed and this issue is keeping up the quality.  This is a great all-ages comic and a great first comic read for children.  It is not too long and doesn’t have a ton of lore which must be researched, but does have Easter eggs for DC fans.  A great series for first time readers and this issue is a great stepping stone into the final act.  

A great paced issue as it really ramps up the excitement, but leaves on a well done cliffhanger.  I asked myself after the cliffhanger “when can I find out how this will be resolved.”

I loved the issue, but it doesn’t stand out as an amazing single issue only because all the issues have been really good.



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