Gotham High

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Apr 2020

Member Reviews

GOTHAM HIGH is a comic book that follows the iconic Batman-related characters as they were before they were famous/infamous. Bruce Wayne has returned from the private boarding school where his Uncle Alfred had sent him, and is now living at Wayne Manor with Alfred and Alfred's husband. Bruce is attending the public high school with Selena, the neighboring girl he loved as a boy. They are grown up now, and the time apart has not really changed the way they feel.

Selena's father has early-onset Alzheimer's with more bad days than good. She cannot afford to keep the home nurse he has at the end of the year. She has a trust left by her mother, but she cannot access it until she is 21- which is several years away. In the book, we also meet Harvey, Jack, and Ivy, though their stories are not as fleshed out.

Bruce finds himself poisoned and Harvey kidnapped seemingly randomly, though it is not clear who the actual target was- as he investigates, he finds himself tangled into something dangerous. 

I really liked that Bruce was half-Asian and that Alfred was his Asian uncle who was also gay. The illustrations here are really fantastic and portray the story really well. It also speaks to problems around wealth disparity and healthcare, which add an interesting element. I liked the romance that pops up, and I think this could be a really interesting series.

Overall, GOTHAM HIGH is an interesting new series that shows the "before" of the iconic characters in a fresh new way.

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This whole thing was uninspired from start to finish. None of the characters were really interesting, including Bruce himself, and any attempt to make them interesting fell flat. Nothing really seemed organic and it made the story feel forced to me. This was particularly true for the bulk of the story: the love triangle. This ended up burdening the story with something it could not handle and it was overwhelmed. 

There were three main characters but they were so underdeveloped that they had about half a character's worth of characterization. This was a major case of telling too much instead of showing. Given how little the characters were developed the ending fell incredibly flat. I wasn't impressed and to be honest, by that point I had no vested interest in it. The whole story really dragged for me and I was relieved when it was over. 

The art was great and I really enjoyed it. The colors, shading, and line art were done really well but I wish it was for a better story. The bulk of the two stars goes to the art. 

I am bummed because I was really excited for this one.
Was this review helpful?
I wasn’t super impressed by this one. The story, overall, was just kind of confusing. It was hard to tell what exactly was going on. I think this was a combination of the story being a little strange and perhaps the author not really utilizing the format of a graphic novel. It also felt like the author tried to cram in every single Batman character which wasn’t really necessary to the story.

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced copy of Gotham High from Netgalley so that I could share my review with you!

Bruce Wayne is back in Gotham, and he’s about to plunge headfirst into the drama that comes with being a teenage billionaire.  Bruce was sent away from Gotham after the death of his parents, to help him get distance from the calamity.  He didn’t spend his time being idle, though, and now that he’s back in Gotham he will need every one of the skills he learned to navigate both high school and the world of crime.  Set in an alternate universe where Batman and his collection of villains all were teens at the same high school, Gotham High puts a fun spin on some old favorite characters!

You can get your copy of Gotham High on April 7th from DC Comics!

Melissa De La Cruz’s way of rewriting classic Batman characters is quite enjoyable to read!  I especially enjoyed her interpretation of Alfred, in that he is Bruce’s uncle rather than being his butler.  Thomas Pitilli’s illustrations were wonderful to look at!  I really enjoyed the outfits and styles he gave each of the characters (especially Poison Ivy)!  

My Recommendation-
This high school Batman story would be a good fit for someone familiar with Batman characters, but who is willing to give different interpretations of them a try.  There is some violence, so this one is better suited for slightly older audiences than some of the other titles I’ve reviews from DC Comics.
Was this review helpful?
This was one of my first graphic novels, and I was excited to give it a try! Unfortunately, it missed the mark for, but that could be because I’m not used to the graphic novel format. The story was a little hard to follow at times for me. Though I did enjoy all the twists and turns and the mystery of it, and the art was stunning! If your a big DC fan or graphic novel fan it’s still definitely worth giving a try!
Was this review helpful?
Big thanks to Netgalley and DC Comics for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This story is a twist on Batman and what his life might have been like if he had to navigate high school. The art is beautiful and the take on Gotham City High was fun and unique. I enjoyed the plot line and the relationships between the characters. I enjoyed the back story the author created and how it played out throughout the story. I definitely will be continuing with this series in the future.
Was this review helpful?
A really good comic, I loved the art style! The story was very good and kept my attention. It was a nice twist on an origin story for Joker, Catwoman, and Batman.
Was this review helpful?
This is a take on the Batman mythology, a sort of "what if". For exmaple, what if Bruce Wayne's parents were from Hong Kong.  What if Alfred was not his butler, but his gay Uncle.  And What if Bruce Wayne went to Gotham High School, which was also populated by all the people who would become his arch-enemies in later life.

While I like the twist on having Bruce be of Hong Kong decent, the other characters haven't changed all that much, other than being all teenagers. They are all a bit of cliches, especially the women, which is a shame, because we could have gone somewhere with that.

If this is going to be a series, perhaps this will be built out more, but for the first issue, I was disappointed.

For example, we are only shown that Alfred is gay, by showing his husband, for one panel, and then nothing more. Not that I want a big deal made of it, but there should have been more a point.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Let me first start by saying the illustrations were beautiful. But the story lacked something. It really had great potential. Thank you netgalley for the opportunity to read it
Was this review helpful?
I was immediately drawn in by the cover. The graphics inside are just as good as the ones on the cover. The colors are amazing and obviously as someone who enjoys DC characters I had to give this one a try.

Overall I had a good experience with this one. I liked being reintroduced to Batman, Catwoman, The Joker, and Poison Ivy in a new way.

It was interesting to see how they diversified the characters and story from the originals. It was kind of hard to separate the two at first but as I continued reading it got easier and left me intrigued by the plot.

The plot was definitely engaging throughout the book. I had a couple of guesses on how it would play out and I definitely wasn't close. The ending was good and sets the stage for this to be a series.

My only complaint would be the vaping done by two of the kids. I think that it was unnecessary and shouldn't be portrayed in books to a young audience.

If you are a fan superhero/villain origin stories then I would definitely recommend this new take on beloved characters.
Was this review helpful?
This graphic novel follows Batman, Catwoman, and the Joker in high school as their paths cross and intertwine: for better or for worse. 

One of the things I loved most about this book was the artwork. Gotham High has a very cool and antiquated comic-book feel to the artwork which was lots of fun for me as a reader and reminded me a lot of the animation in Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse: absolutely incredible. I also really appreciated how Poison Ivy's high school self was incorporated into the story line because it was definitely a surprise I did not see coming. 

While this was a compelling read, and I never felt as though I wanted to put it down, I finished feeling very unsatisfied. I mostly had a problem with how the majority of the characters were depicted; most of the characters kept contradicting themselves in several sections of the graphic novel, and I felt like the interactions and dialogue between them were very forced and fake. Since this appears to be the start of a series I would suggest trying to improve on character development and depth for following books.
Was this review helpful?
First of, DC sent this book to me for free so I could review it.  So thank you very much!

It's been a long time since I read a graphic novel. But I'm a big superhero nerd, so offcourse this sounded great to me!

The drawings look really great. They fit perfectly with the story and the details ensure that you are indeed drawn into the story. They were therefore a very important part of the story as always in graphic novels.

The story tells part of the teenage years of some of the most famous figures from the DC comic world. For example, we see Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle (Batman and Catwoman) in their teens. However, the story is completely different from anything I've ever learned about these characters. Obviously it is up to a writer to put a spin on something herself, but it is difficult to do this well in the case of such well-known characters. And unfortunately I did not quite succeed in this.

I noticed that I was very much in my head with everything that was not right with the classic Batman stories. Something that you should not do, of course, but it is extremely difficult to switch off. Would you see this separately from each other, I think the assessment is different.

The story went very smoothly, something fascinating happened on almost every page and the writer was able to create a lot of background for the characters for a graphic novel. Clearly work was being done somewhere with a lot of space leaving for a sequel.

All in all it was an entertaining story, but lacked some depth.
Was this review helpful?
Gotham High is my second graphic novel from the DC Ink line from DC Comics, and I’m already so in love with this collection. DC Ink makes quality YA graphic novel retellings for classic DC characters, and they’re full of beautiful art and even more beautiful diversity. Gotham High is a stand-alone re-imagining of the origin stories for all your favorite DC heroes and villains, and has really strong characterizations for both its main characters and its secondary characters.

Characters you’ll see in this graphic novel: Bruce Wayne (Batman), Dick Grayson (Robin), Selena Kyle (Catwoman), Jack Napier (Joker), Harvey Dent (Two-Face), Barbie Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle), Ivy (Poison Ivy), and more. We don’t see these people in their superhero or villain roles, but we see them as high schoolers in a setting very reminiscent of all those addictive television high school dramas.

After Bruce Wayne is kicked out of his private boarding school, he returns home to attend Gotham High. At Gotham High he reconnects with his childhood best friend, Selena, and her close friend, Jack. When kidnappings start happening to Gotham High students, Bruce suspects something bigger is going on, and that someone he knows might even be involved. The story that unfolds is deliciously dramatic and full of twists and turns.

Bruce is brooding, flaunts his wealth, and knows his power over others in the school. Jack is scrappy, a typical bad guy, and completely obsessed with Selena. Selena is sleek, sly, and won’t stop at anything to get the life she wants for her family and herself. It’s the perfect high school love triangle, and ends in unexpected ways. I love that romance doesn’t end up coming between any of these friends at the end of the day, and think it’s a great modern take on the YA love triangle trope.

Bottom line: 4/5 stars and full of frothy YA drama that’s addictive and so much fun.

Thanks to Netgalley and DC Comics for providing me and arc of this title in exchange for an honest review! Gotham High comes out on April 7, 2020.

My review will post at the below blog post on my blog, Back Shelf Books, on April 7, 2020. The goodreads review at the below link is viewable now.
Was this review helpful?
While I liked the art style, I was a little confused during most of the story. There wasn't a ton to go off about what was happening since it was a new "reimagining" of the Gotham already established and I felt like it was disjointed to have the narrator character (in this case Selina) also be part of the big reveal twist at the end. Maybe if Bruce was the narrator character the reveal would have felt more powerful somehow.

I appreciate the attempt at trying to add more diversity to the cast and giving subtle hints to the future of some of the characters (like with Harvey and Ivy, specifically), but overall, I wasn't that impressed with the story or characters. It moved too quickly for a single story and didn't give enough for me to actually care about what was happening. Also, it wasn't until I read the synopsis again that I realized that Jack is supposed to be the "teenage" Joker. I didn't catch any parallels between them, so it just feels weird.
Was this review helpful?
Fun twist on the universe with the characters in high school. I'm not totally familiar with them all, so had fun figuring out who everyone was. I would read more with these characters and storyline.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

I love the art in this graphic novel, I love the diversity and I love the trashy(and I mean this in the best possible way) Gossip Girl-esque feel of this book. It was fun and easy to read and I truly felt like I was reading a book about a group of teenagers in high school. 

Unfortunately what I didn't like was the way the female characters were depicted in this book. They're conniving, manipulative and honestly not portrayed in a positive light at all meanwhile the male characters are depicted as these gullible, soft heroes who get treated horribly by women. Honestly I would've assumed this was written by a man with how it so obviously sets up for the "a beautiful girl broke my heart and now I use that as an excuse to treat everyone around me like shit, but especially other women". I just feel like they didn't need to go down that route. You're doing a remake, why did you have to make the females seems so shitty and yet the heroes are sweet, perfect specimens--even creepy Jake is played out to be a victim by the end and you're left feeling bad for him even though he's a huge creep. And yet, while we do get some background on Selina and where her motivations come from, the route the author decided to go with this character is one I find will be unpopular for many. 

If this is going to become a series (which it seems to be set to be), I'd definitely check out the second one for the art alone but hopefully these characters get some much needed character development and depth.
Was this review helpful?
I've never read any of the DC Comics (or the Marvel comics for that matter), so my knowledge comes from the movies I've seen - which really is just Batman & Robin LOL. But I feel like most people know the basis of the heroes and villains. I was so intrigued to see the DC World set in the high school years before everyone became who they became. But I was really disappointed. This was really cheesy and written with so many YA tropes. It felt like there was no real connection with any characters and I know that's possible in a really short comic because I've read Saga and had my heart torn out. This one just lacked substance. Two stars over one because the artwork and style is stunning.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Gotham High is a reimagining of a whole cast of Gotham characters in high school or there around. Bruce gets kicked out of his private school and returns to Gotham High to continue his education where he reconnects with Selina, girl next door and childhood best friend, and meets Jack Napier, class clown. 
I enjoyed the ways in which most of the characters were re-imagined but something about the writing wasn’t quite clicking with me. While it was a fun enough read this has not been among my favorite of the different graphic novels DC has been dropping.
Was this review helpful?
I’m sad to give this a 3, because the illustrations are just that beautiful. The art is so bright and fun, and it doesn’t (in my opinion) deserve to have less than a great rating. That being said... I couldn’t rate this higher, because there were a few things that I found problematic in this one. I did enjoy the bones of the story overall. Sort of the Robin Hood trope blended against the vigilante in training trope. Bruce is in that mode of save everyone in his high school/city and the “villain” characters, are just trying to get by the best way they know how. I feel like I have a hard time truly rooting against the people who are doing the “bad” things, because their reasoning is usually to help someone else. I don’t want to say too much and spoil the entire story, but yeah. If you’ve enjoyed Batman/Gotham characters and plot lines over time and want to see the characters as teenagers, with stereotypical YA plots of their other world comic plots, then you will enjoy this graphic novel.
Was this review helpful?
I have always loved superheros, so when I got approved for this I was psyched. I went in with high hopes and looking back, that may have been the issue.

What I Liked:

    The Characters - Batman in high school. Who wouldn't want to see that, right? And wait.... he is FRIENDS with Selina Kyle and Jack Napier? This was intriguing and I liked being able to see teen versions of my favorite super heroes and villains.


    The Artwork - This was a graphic novel and the artwork was amazing. I have recently gotten obsessed with Webtoons and this read a lot like one of those. Part of me thinks it would probably be a better fit for it. 


    Poison Ivy - Most people IRL know this about me, but I have an obsession with Poison Ivy as a character. She is my all time favorite character DC or otherwise. And I don't feel like she is nearly as enough stuff as she should be. She was in this, though she is an adult, which is fine by me. And to add to this, Harley Quinn wasn't in this, which was even better.

What I Didn't Like:

    The Writing - The story was fine, but the writing wasn't. Now, I haven't read any of Curz's other books, but this was very choppy and superficial. I know they are teenagers, but even teens remember what they said three pages ago.


    Predictability - You basically know who is behind the kidnappings from the get go. So when it is finally revealed toward the end I was like was this supposed to be the big reveal? You told me this at the beginning!


    Richard Grayson - He was only mentioned for a second and was a kid that was getting bullied that Bruce helped. The reason he gets kicked out of his prep school. And then that is it. I would have liked to see more of Dick Grayson.

Overall I gave this a 3/5. I did like this book and the story. And unlike a lot of other reviews on Goodreads, I am not mad for the characters acting like the actual characters, I.E. Selina Kyle. But there was a lot I didn't care for, too.
Was this review helpful?