by Taylor Anderson
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Gotham Academy originally started as a school drama set against the backdrop of Gotham City. However, things have changed greatly since the series first started. Instead of being merely the setting for the series, Gotham City has now become a major character in the series. As with all characters, this means the city is now being developed, and the way it interacts and influences other characters is being analyzed. In Gotham Academy: Second Semester 10 it’s revealed how the city has affected its main character, Olive.
We first learned that the city of Gotham has been hurting — and just being generally terrible to — Olive and her ancestors a couple of issues ago. This pattern continues in the present day, when Two-Face uses the awakening of Calamity’s spirit in Olive to exact revenge on the Penguin. This attempt doesn’t work thanks to the intervention of Kyle, but it’s clear that Two-Face is using Calamity simply to do his dirty work for him. It may be different than burning someone at the stake, but Two-Face is perpetuating a trend of treating Calamity and her spirit with disdain. The tragedy of this action is that is simply keeps the circle of Calamity’s revenge spinning forever.
It’s not just the outwardly villainous who are using Calamity to their advantage. Elsewhere in the issue, Maps discovers that the students wearing mysterious animal masks are actually the descendants of Ambroos Lydecker, a major architect of Gotham. Like the Dents and the Cobblepots, Lydecker uses Calmity’s spirit, albeit for different ends.
Contrary to using Calmity for evil, the Lydeckers have been trying to use Calamity to cleanse the city of the very families that Calamity hates. To accomplish this, the Lydeckers have purposely prevented Calamity from resting in peace, so to speak, which doesn’t make them that much better than the other Gotham families. This is another wrinkle to the history of Gotham, and it’s becoming clear that the writing team is showing how Gotham is flawed, complicated, and not easily saved or fixed. That the city has become such a complex figure in this story is wonderful. It adds to the mythology of Gotham in a substantial and meaningful way without threatening to change Batman’s central story.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?