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‘Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy #4:’ Comic Book Review

There is an opening line of dialogue in Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy #4 that perfectly illustrates one of the fundamental truths of living in the Lumberjanes universe:  “Captivity could be worse, I guess.”

If you’re a Lumberjane, you understand that dealing with the scary and the extraordinary is the norm.  If it’s Tuesday, we must be stuck in an alternate dimension.  Wednesday…running from monsters through an underground cave.  Thursday…battling hordes of zombies.  One might as well settle in and make the best of a bad situation, because there’s always another bad situation right around the corner.  (Buffy fans understand this reality.  There’s always another apocalypse to avert, sometimes before you’ve even finished resolving the last apocalypse.)

Although I’m not as familiar with their history, I suspect that the Gotham Academy students have a bit to learn from the Lumberjanes on the “go with the flow” subject.  Much of the push and pull in this story arc has to do with learning to patiently investigate the problem, work as a team, and carefully consider your options before taking action.  Naturally, some are achieving this better than others.  Pom, in particular, is ready to employ whatever nuclear option will immediately end their captivity, acting out impulsively on her own to not-so-great results.

As we’re approaching the conclusion of the mystery, I like that the super scary monsters, with their glowy eyes, detached skeleton heads, and billowing robes, are basically just set dressers for the actual Big Bad…a petulant, spurned teen-aged girl.  It’s not the obvious monsters that need to be dealt with, but a much more complicated problem housed in a benign entity.  We can’t blast our way out of this one like we’re Han Solo confronting a battalion of Stormtroopers.

We’ve seen over and over (Refer to the Pom situation above.) that trying to force our way out of the situation will not work.  Resolving this mystery is going to take teamwork and finesse, as well as a healthy dose of empathy and smarts.  The key may very well be the willingness to help someone who, on the surface, doesn’t appear to deserve any help.  I have high hopes for success for our team of heroes.  They’re a group well versed in the acceptance of bad situations and badly behaving misfit characters.

Only two more issues to go!  And I can’t wait to see how this hopeless situation turns out.

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