Thursday, February 5, 2015

Gotham Academy #4

Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps!

Previously in Maps Goes To Gotham Academy With A Bunch Of Other Characters That Don't Matter Except Maybe Pomeline Fritch Because I Can Remember Her Full Name For Some Reason. Maybe it's because I really like this comic book! I also know Maps Mizoguchi and Olive Silverlock! And Kyle Mizoguchi but that's cheating because he has the same last name as the best character in all of comicdom so how could I ever forget it?

So far, Maps has been having a lot of scary adventures with her friend Olive. They've hunted ghosts and played Dungeons and Dragons and broke into the North Hall where they were forbidden to go and hung from a rope which interrupted Bruce Wayne's rich guy speech to the school. She's also invented the next huge catch phrase: "Oh my crap!" I'm waiting for Maps to get her own comic book now, DC. Don't make me start writing serious fan fiction!

This issue does not begin with Olive Silverlock's funeral for some reason. She was grabbed by a monster inside the North Hall when last issue ended but now she and her love interest, Pomeline Fritch, are standing outside of the North Hall's crime scene remembering how Olive didn't die. I hate when comic books begin with minor characters. Let's see what Maps is up to!

Olive is called into the Headmaster's office for mysterious reasons. She's probably going to be told that her mother escaped from Arkham Manor! Although that happened in the snow and it doesn't look like it's been snowing lately at Gotham Academy. So maybe that won't happen for a few issues yet. While waiting for the Headmaster to yell at her, she witnesses Bruce Wayne and Isla MacPherson talking about their date from the other night. So I guess Bruce Wayne has been sexing it up since Natalya's death! Maybe they're not discussing a date but it really seems like Bruce is trying to apologize for being such a greedy, selfish lover and Isla is trying to just forget the entire experience. Before Olive can hear any sweet details, Headmaster Hammer Head nearly scares the shit out of her. Why does he have to look so creepy? Doesn't he know Gotham Academy looks like the kind of place where creepy old man monsters roam the halls looking for sweet, young innocent flesh? Hmm, that describes every high school in America, I think!

Olive has also been noticing a symbol that looks like somebody typed an "A" on a typewriter and then moved the carriage back one space and typed a "V" over the "A" and then moved the carriage back one space and typed an "O" on top of that. What it is is a "W" on top of an "M" which is the symbol for Wayne Manor as seen in Arkham Manor when the workers were converting the place into an asylum. One of the workers just knocked the ends off of the "W" to turn it into an "A" and voila! Arkham Manor!

Oh look! It's the guy who reads!

The Guy Who Reads knows Olive. It seems he helped her over the summer which is still fuzzy in her memory. She should go ask Maps what Maps knows about him because Maps! She hasn't even been in this yet!

Oh wait! I just turned the page and there she was! Best character ever!

I hope Wizards of the Coast doesn't sue over this! I guess as long as Maps doesn't also paint a Mind Flayer and a Rust Monster, she'll be okay.

Eric, the boy who had better stay away from Maps if he knows what's good for him, is also in Maps's painting class. Apparently Maps and Olive saw the symbol in his sketchbook, so they head over to make him really uncomfortable in that way that only teenaged boys can feel uncomfortable when two cute girls approach him out of nowhere and want to talk to him and he didn't have any time to prepare what he should say so the only authentic response becomes to run away screaming.

Sigh. Maps is perfect! Except for the part where Eric's painting looks nothing like Tiamat. But I'll just blame Karl Kerschl for not getting that detail correct! Maps would never get a Tiamat fact wrong!

Even before the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon made the Dungeons and Dragons version of Tiamat a household name, I bet every Dungeons and Dragons Campaign in the late seventies and early eighties culminated in a battle against Tiamat (if not Orcus or Demogorgon or Juiblex).

Eric leaves a scattering of script pages to Macbeth in his wake as he flees from the attention of the cute girls. So Olive and Maps decide to stake out the drama nerds. They discover Eric designs the props and trap him in the backroom so they can get some answers out of him. Eric panics and tells them everywhere on campus that he's seen the symbol. One of them is in the girls' dorm, so Maps and Olive prepare to explore it by getting their fifty feet of rope, their ten foot pole, their iron spikes, and their iron rations together for the journey.

Also torches! They probably need torches! Fuck, I always forget the torches and then the Dungeon Master is all, "You can't see anything." And then I'm all, "But I'm an elf! I have infravision!" And then he scoffs and says, "That hardly works here in the cold depths of a forgotten barrow!" And then we spend another hour role playing going back into town to buy torches and a tinder box because fuck you, Dungeon Master, you won't laugh at me again when I can't light the torches!

While packing, Maps and Olive have a run in with the Ghost of Millie Jane! Oh my crap!

It's just a puppet operated by Heathcliff.

Olive catches Heathcliff on the roof and agrees not to tell Pomeline if he'll just knock it off. He was doing it to make Pomeline happy about summoning the ghost and not just being mean by trying to fool her. But now Olive and Heathcliff have a shared secret which will bring them closer! Pomeline isn't going to like this much.

Pomeline especially isn't going to like these mild flirtations!

Is giving the Guy Who Reads the name of "Grey" a good choice in the current Fifty Shades of Grey pop culture climate? Maybe Cloonan and Fletcher want us to make that association. They must, right? Who wouldn't? And is the name of the book "Fifty" or "50"? Do I really care? No, I don't really care.

On her way back to her dorm room, Olive stumbles upon the symbol and presses it, opening up a secret passage. Which she ventures into without her provisions or Maps! That's a bad idea! Maps is never going to forgive her for this insolence! Maps is the dungeon delving expert!

Sure, Olive breaks the window and leaves Maps to clean up while she goes gallivanting inside the walls. Typical!

While Olive waits for Maps to join her inside the walls, she runs into the monster that grabbed her leg last issue. He's a big blue version of Killer Croc! Unless he's just Karl Kerschl's version of Killer Croc bathed in blue light. Whoever he is, he has a picture of Olive and her mother taped to the wall by his makeshift bed. Olive realizes he's an escapee from Arkham and empathizes with him. She says she won't tell anybody that he's living in the walls but she also wants to know what he knows about her mother. Hopefully she'll get some answers out of him before Maps arrives and tries to kill him for two hundred experience points.

Gotham Academy #4 Rating: +1 Ranking because Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps Maps! I really like Maps!

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