I hate endings. I’ve put off playing some video games for months, even years, just to avoid having to say goodbye to characters I love when I defeat that final boss. So when I learned that GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #12 was the last one of the series; I felt that age-old fear of the end start to spring in my chest. There just seemed so much that the creators — Adam ArcherSandra HopeMSASSYKKarl KerschlBecky Cloonan, and Brenden Fletcher — have yet to talk about! What’s the deal with the creepy headmaster? Will Olivia’s ghosts come back to haunt her once again? Am I crazy, or did it seem like Professor MacPhpherson totally had a thing for that person from her past? Hopefully, a revival series occurs down the line. In terms of how this one ended, I’d say it felt rather satisfying.

GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #12 Ends an Era

Olive Silverlock, possessed by her ancestor Amity Arkham, seems determined to burn the city to ash. Fortunately, her friends will stop at nothing to save her from the fate every Silverlock before has succumbed to. With the city burning around them, Maps goes into Wayne manor to rescue her friend. Olive originally went into the manor when possessed by Amity, who’s hell-bent on destroying those who wrongly killed her in the past. It just so happens that a Wayne ancestor killed Amity Arkham, hence the desire to find Bruce Wayne at his home. While they deal with their own drama, Pom, Kyle, and Colton attempt to exorcize the spirit from Olive’s body by going to Amity Arkham’s grave and laying her bones to rest once and for all.

GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #12
Courtesy of DC Comics

A lot goes down in this comic. Pretty much all of the characters at this point are scrambling just to keep their friend alive. Olive’s fallen so far down in her own psychosis that honestly, there were a few times I thought surely she left them entirely. Yet each of these lovely characters does their best to save their friend. I love how much each of them grew from their initial meeting during the first semester. Instead of their friendships being one of convenience, it seems like they genuinely care for one another.

READ: Check out an interview done with GOTHAM ACADEMY creator Becky Cloonan and artist Karl Kerschl!

Of course, the one friend who deserves the biggest acknowledgment is Maps herself. This young girl fights for Olive till the bitter end. I found myself cheering for this girl harder than I think I’ve ever cheered for a comic book protagonist. In a way, her relationship with Olive reminded me of FROZEN. She went after her friend instead of her brother going after Olive, with whom he’d been in a relationship. It’s like the Disney movie in the sense that this strong bond between women undoes the wrong in the story. Though, this parallel could relate more to the fact that both Olive and Elsa have white hair.

GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #12
Courtesy of DC Comics

Beautiful Burning Buildings

The backgrounds of GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #12 appear dark, with angry red filling any empty space. This shift from the relatively bright tones of the previous issues shows how serious Olive’s turn to the dark side is. She’s no longer the friend they all knew; she’s someone, or rather something, else. I felt that out of the previous story arcs, this finale managed to find the tone it wanted best. It used dark shadows and harsh coloring to show that the fate of the city rested on the shoulders of these students. If they don’t save their friend, then the city they love will not survive. Dramatic, yes, but perfect for this kind of story.

READ: If you are not convinced by the end of this issue that Maps is literally the best character ever, hopefully this article will give you five reasons why you need her! 

GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #12 might be the end, but for what it is it’s a beautiful issue nonetheless. These characters and the world they inhabit will forever remain a staple in young adult comic books. Hopefully, they’ll return to the school next year. Yet if they don’t, they still managed to end the series on a high note.

GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #12 by Adam Archer, Sandra Hope, MSASSYK, Karl Kerschl, Becky Cloonan, and Brenden Fletcher
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
The creators ended the saga beautifully with powerful character moments and stunning artwork to really give a final "hurrah" for the series.
88 %
Friendship is magic

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