by Becky Cloonen, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Keschel & Mingue Helen Chen
This issue picks up where #5 ended, with Batman fighting Killer Croc. As Olive’s friends escape, the Gotham PD surrounds the building and Croc has nowhere to run. Olive uses her Pyrokenetic powers and some fireworks to distract Batman and Croc escorts her out of the building. He tells her about his time with her Mother in Arkham Asylum, and offers help if she decides to become like her. She rejoins her friends, and turns in a book report the next day on Mille Jane Cobblepot’s diary. After Maps discovers a possible connection between the Academy and the Asylum, Olive and her friends decide to join a detective club to find more secrets tied to the school. The issue ends with Damian Wayne stealing the diary, then rejoining his father for an application interview with Principal “Hammerhead”.
The art by Karl Kerschl is strong as usual, but he is joined on art by Mingue Helen Chen for the flashback and backup story pages. Her art has a layered, painterly quality that contrasts well with Kerschl’s Manga influenced style.
This issue had a lot of heart and humor to it, which thankfully outweighed the fight scene between Batman and Croc. It’s interesting to place Batman as the villain/antagonist in a story like this, but it works well to reveal more of Olive’s backstory and her hatred of him. With Damian joining the cast, I worry about the tone of the book changing and becoming less unique. However, the creative team has done a solid job so far of carving their own stake of the DCU in this book so I remain hopeful.
A solid closer to the first arc and I can’t wait for the next issue in June.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent