Action/Adventure

Gotham High: Batman, Catwoman, and Joker Reimagined!

4/5 Stars

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Illustrator: Thomas Pitilli

Publisher/Imprint: DC Comics

Edition: Paperback, 208 Pages

Publication Date: April 07, 2020

A Spine that Shines? Fairly Well

 

*I received a free copy of this book from DC Comics for review purposes. These are my honest opinions. Thank you.*

Book Synopsis

From Melissa de la Cruz, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Alex and Eliza and The Witches of East End comes a reimagining of Gotham for a new generation of readers.

After being kicked out of his boarding school, 17-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents’ murder. Selina Kyle, previously the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.

When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight—or is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes … and where everyone is a suspect.

With evocative art by Thomas Pitilli, this new graphic novel is just as intoxicating as it is chilling, in which dearest friends turn into greatest enemies–all within the hallways of Gotham High!

For more information on Gotham High or the the World’s Greatest Super Heroes, visit www.dccomics.com, the DC YouTube channel, or follow @DCComics and @TheDCNation on social media.

Book Trailer

My Review

Initial Thoughts

Hello, bookworms! I hope you are all doing well despite these difficult times. I have some positive news! Gotham High, Melissa de la Cruz’s first YA graphic novel, released today and is available for purchase! I had the opportunity to read this book early, and I have to say it was quite refreshing to read a graphic novel for a change.

Here are some things to note about the book:

  • I loved the concept of this novel; a young Joker, Batman, and Catwoman reimagined as high school students!
  • The book was pitched as having Gossip Girl/Riverdale vibes, so you can definitely expect a bit of teenage angst and drama!
  • You will definitely find plenty of parties, kidnappings, and card games as well!
  • I loved the fast pace of the story! I read the entire book in a day, which is something I haven’t accomplished in a long time. The illustrations kept me turning the pages.
  • In my opinion, the actual plot was OK, but Pitilli’s illustrations are AMAZING! They totally helped create the mood of the story and pulled me through.

They say he who laughs last, laughs best.

-Melissa de la Cruz, Gotham High

Characters & Romance

  • The main characters do not appear as you typically see them in other comic stories, and they’re not yet full-fledged villains/heroes.
  • I really appreciated the ethnic diversity of the characters that the author added. In an interview with EW, Melissa, part Chinese herself, mentions how she was inspired to write Bruce as a Chinese character. (I’m part Chinese, too, so hooray for Asian rep!) Melissa even brings this element into the food; in one food scene, Bruce and Selina have xiao long bao! Yum! It was not something I expected to find in a Batman story, but I was pleasantly surprised 🙂
  • Bruce Wayne (Batman) is a super rich Asian loner with a sad past. He has a heart for helping people and is determined to get to the bottom of the crime that hits his new high school.
  • Selina Garcia Kyle (Catwoman) is literally the girl next door to Bruce. She lives on the rich side of town, and she’s the most popular girl in school. Despite all this, she isn’t able to pay for her sick father’s treatment on her own.
  • Jack Napier (The Joker) comes from a not-so-wealthy background. He is a bit of a prankster, but really cares about Selina. He buys her a book as a gift! He totally gets some points for that! I do think Jack’s character is the least developed out of the three main characters, but Melissa hints in the EW interview that she would like to explore his character more if there is a sequel 😀
  • The love triangle is, of course, between Bruce, Selina, and Jack. It seems that some other readers didn’t like this, but it is clearly advertised as one of the main aspects of the book. Personally, I thought it was an interesting combination of characters to choose.
  • However, I didn’t love how Selina treats the two boys. I don’t want to spoil anything, but you will see what I mean if you read the novel. She sometimes acts a bit self-absorbed and manipulative, which other reviewers have also noted.

Final Thoughts

Here are a few more points to wrap up my review:

The dialogue was OK. Sometimes, the dialogue hinged on slightly dramatic and cliche. I feel that it is especially important for dialogue to be meaningful and substantive in a graphic novel due to the condensed nature of the story; there are simply fewer words than a reader would find in a novel written in traditional prose.

Nevertheless, I am keeping in mind the intended goal and audience for this novel. Is it angsty and dramatic? Yes. But I do think that the author essentially accomplished what she was going for in this book. It helps to know the author’s perspective and what she intended. (If you’re interested, I would recommend checking out the EW interview for more on the author’s and illustrator’s perspectives.)

I also appreciated the other element that Melissa tried to incorporate into Bruce’s character. In the EW interview, she said she was also trying to explore the effects of wealth on Bruce’s character and on his relationships with other characters.

Even if I didn’t love how the plot turns out and the way that Selina treats the boys, I can’t rate this book any less than 4 stars because the illustrations are so stunning! It was overall entertaining to read. If there were to be a sequel in the future, I would be interested in reading it. Happy reading, everyone! And stay safe and healthy 🙂

Purchase Information

Gotham High should be in stock online today from most booksellers. Visit DC’s product page for more buying info, or visit your favorite retailer’s website. You can also support Indie bookstores by ordering from Indie Bound or Bookshop.org.

Check Out My Bookstagram Post

View this post on Instagram

Hey bookworms! Here’s my review for Gotham High, which published today! *Thank you to @dccomics for sending me a free copy of the book for review. These are my honest opinions.* Check my blog for full-length review! (Linktree in profile.) – My rating: 4/5 stars – -I really liked the idea of this book; a young Joker, Batman, and Catwoman reimagined! -An easy, fast-paced read! I read it in one day, and it’s been quite a while since I finished an entire book in one day. -I loved the beautiful illustrations! -At times the dialogue hinges on slightly dramatic and cliche, but I kept in mind the intended audience and goal. -This book is pitched as having Gossip Girl/Riverdale vibes, so there’s plenty of angst and teenage drama to keep you interested! -Don’t expect the characters to be how you typically see them portrayed in other tellings, because that’s not the point here. This is a reimagining! -The actual plot was okay. I didn’t always like how Selina treats Bruce and Jack, but I did think it was a super interesting combination for a love triangle. -I appreciated the ethnic diversity! -Overall, it was refreshing to read a graphic novel and I think the author accomplished what she was trying to accomplish with the story. She also explores the effects of wealth on relationships around Bruce. -The character development could’ve been stronger for Jack, but if there is a sequel, I would definitely be interested in reading it! Happy reading 😊 – -Swipe to see sample illustrations from the book! – #DCPartner #InPartnershipwithDC #reviewcopy #bookreview #bookreviewer #GothamHigh #melissadelacruz #graphicnovel #superheroes #comicbooks #anticipatedreads #bookbirthday #DCComics #ourmoodydays #mybeigelife #booksaremyfriends #readingmakesmehappy #ilovemybooks #beautifulbookcovers #bookseverywhere #bookflatlay #flatlayoftheday #pursuepretty #batman #batmanandcatwoman

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Copyright © 2020 by Spines that Shine (Caitlin Shaffer)

1 thought on “Gotham High: Batman, Catwoman, and Joker Reimagined!”

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