DC being DC, and Batman being Batman, there are already a ton of Batbooks on the stands. In fact, Batman currently has eight books on the stands, thirteen if you count weeklies and the team books he’ll occasionally pop up in. And now DC is adding two very weird new books to the list, taking the place of Birds of Prey and Batwing.
First up, there’s Arkham Manor, which honestly sounds like a way better video game pitch. Arkham Asylum is blown to hell, or condemned, or eaten by Chunk or something, so where do Gotham’s resident loonies wind up moving to? Wayne Manor. You know, because that’s not going to end in figurative or literal fire. That said, it’s an interesting concept, and appears to be built around a murder mystery as of course a few inmates wind up dead.
The second is DC’s next attempt to appeal to teenage girls, and we’re going to let DC’s official copy speak for the book here:
Welcome to GOTHAM ACADEMY! Gotham City’s most prestigious prep school is a very weird place. It’s got a spooky campus, oddball teachers, and rich benefactors always dropping by…like that weirdo Bruce Wayne. But nothing is as strange as the students!
Like, what’s up with Olive Silverlock? Is she crazy or what? Where did she go last summer? And what’s the deal with her creepy mom? And how come that Freshman MAPS is always following her around? Is she still going out with Kyle? P.S. Did you hear the rumor about the ghost in the North Hall?!
Just a reminder: DC canceled Birds of Prey for this book. Not that we’re trying to be judgmental here or anything, but we do wonder what message this sends to the female fans this is trying to appeal to. It seems particularly off as Marvel has found some success with Ms. Marvel, a back-to-basics teen superheroine that’s been doing well critically.
As for talent, Arkham Manor has Gerry Duggan writing and Shawn Crystal drawing, while Gotham Academy is written by Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher with art by Karl Kerschl. It’s a nice mix of fresh talent on the books, but we’ll be curious to see how it pays off. We’ll find out in October.