Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.
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Crossovers are nothing new and some, like the new Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy, are more anticipated than others. Our contributor, Darryll Robson, takes a look at the Boom!/DC mix to see if it is more than just a gimmick.
Two popular teams of characters from publishers Boom! Box and DC Comics collide this month when the Lumberjanes meet the gang from Gotham Academy. A new creative team start a new adventure mixing these characters in an Enid Blyton style story. The enterprise will attract readers from both franchises in a hope to grow the readerships of both comics but will it entice readers who don’t read either comic?
High up in the mountains Rosie is snooping around, spying on a strange house shrouded in darkness. But she is being watched in return. Luckily she manages to set off a flare just before she is whisked away by an unseen force.
Meanwhile at Gotham Academy, someone else has gone missing. Professor Macpherson is a beloved teacher so when the intrepid outcasts led by Olive Silverlock find a possible clue to her disappearance, they jump straight into their investigation. Step one; ‘borrow’ a car and head up into the mountains.
Like Olive’s group, the Lumberjanes are a group that you can’t keep away from a good mystery and a heap of intrigue so it’s not long before they too are headed out into the mountains. The two groups are destined to meet and when they do they instantly hit it off, despite Scout Leader Jen’s outrage at the Gotham Academy’s lack of preparedness.
Before everyone can snuggle down around a campfire they come face to face with some skull headed creatures of the forest. The supernatural beasts aren’t there for a chin wag so the age old application of ‘running away’ is employed. Olive interprets something one of the creatures says to mean that they are guarding part of the forest and therefore their escape means leaving that part of the forest.
Most of them make it out of harms reach but not all. And the set up for the series is complete with the teams coming together for a single purpose; to find those missing from each team.
One of the main concerns for crossovers of this kind is “What if I haven’t read Gotham Academy?” or “What if I haven’t read Lumberjanes?” This is obviously a worry but a well written crossover, and some might say sole purpose of such as act, will introduce one group of fans to something else that they will like.
In LJ/GA the characters and over arcing story within this issue are enticing but little about them is explained other than their names and affiliations. The most in depth characterisation is given to Rosie and she is barely in this issue. Unfortunately this means that if you are new to either, or both, comics then you may be left wondering what the motivations are behind these characters.
Having said that, Chynna Clugston Flores has written a very heart-warming, fun, teenage mystery story. She has crafted a simple set up to bring the two teams together; the disappearance of someone close to each team. The comic has a punchy pace to it with an equal split between each franchise, unlike other mash-ups of recent years. This means that the reader can revel in the characters they know and accept those that they don’t into the story. As stated above the only people who may be left out are those who haven’t read either franchise.
The quick and witty script is illustrated in a matching style. Rosemary Valero-O’Connell and Maddi Gonzalez have captured the true spirit of the story and the characters. It is a very welcoming comic that is easy to read visually with a straight forward panel layout. The composition within the panels helps the flow of the narrative and the simple character design make the entire reading experience fun and simple.
As a whole it’s a quirky and pleasant addition to both the Gotham Academy and Lumberjanes franchises. It has an interesting mystery hook that draws the reader in and those familiar with the characters will definitely keep reading. Any newbies to the franchises might feel as they are outside looking in but the world is inviting enough that they will want to get to know these characters better.
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he might use his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson
A great start to a spin off mini-series but one that is more for the fans than the roaming reader.