Previously in Gotham Academy #6
Cures of the Inishtree Quill feels like a one-off, complete with a special guest we may not see again. Because it put Maps center stage, I don’t mind one bit.
Instead of paying attention in English class, Maps is using a quill to compile of list of members for her Serpents and Spells team. When she adds fellow classmate Eric’s name to the list, Eric freaks out and tries to attack the teacher, who was in the middle of scolding Maps for not observing the lesson. The new boy in class manages to subdue Eric before he can do any real damage.
Of course, Maps rushes to tell her best friend Olive, but she learn from Professor MacPherson that Olive will be away from school for a few days, but she won’t say why or where Olive is. Maps takes her list to the quad where she decides to add the new boy, Damien Wayne, to her team in place of Eric, who Maps has determined (thanks to his outburst in class) is too weird, even for her.
Upon scribbling young master Wayne’s name into her notebook, the two are drawn together and lock hands. And as they try to make sense of what just happened, a raven flies off with Maps’ quill. Damien doesn’t believe it has anything to do with magic, but he allows Maps to drag him to Pomeline for help.
Pomeline deduces the quill – stolen from Headmaster Hammer’s office – must have magical properties which prompted Eric to attack the teacher thinking he was protecting Maps from him. Pomeline uses a crystal to get a sample (of magic?) from their hands, and as she examines what she found, she becomes affected and pushes Damien out the window. Of course, Maps goes too since they are unable to release their grip on each other.
Maps has her first fangirl moment of the issue (I live for those!) when Damien instructs her to grab his grapple gun from his pocket and use it to zip them to safety… except not really. Maps’ brother Kyle is also affected and attacks the two when they land. Damian dispatches of Kyle, knocking him out, using Maps like she’s a weapon that just happens to be attached to him. She’s not pleased to be used as the secret ingredient in his can of whoop ass, and gets her petty (and gross) revenge by using the back of Damien’s hand to wipe her nose.
Even though they’re chased by more “possessed” students, they manage to get assistance from Professor MacPherson, who identifies the feather as part of a Scottish folklore: In a town called Inishtree (which happens to be the location of Castle Wayne) a flock of evil black birds controlled the people. With the help of Batman, they were finally able to drive the birds away, ending the spell they’d had over the town’s children. The quill, Maps figures, must be a feather from one of those birds. She’s totally aboard the possessed by demonic birds train. But, as it turns out, their English teacher explains the feather came from a bird carrying an avian flu, which the students were exposed to. He says Maps and Damien could have let go of each other’s hands any time they wanted. And sure enough, they’re able to release each other.
They still have to answer to Hammer, who wants to know why Maps stole his quill to begin with. Damien speaks up and takes the blame, which earns him an expulsion. Maps still holds on to a small sliver of hope that the day they spent together was due to magic as someone crossed out both of their names in her notebook. Perhaps that broke the spell. Damien still isn’t convinced, but accepts her thanks for taking the fall and leave her with a parting gift: her very own batarang.
Her time to fangirl and gush is cut short when Professor MacPherson appears with news about Olive.