Today I’m bringing you another graphic novel book review! These are some of my favorite for fun reads and Gotham High is another DC superhero YA cross over. I know a lot less about the DC world than I’d like to, but Gotham High was a fun introduction to some of the most iconic figures: Batman, Catwoman, and the Joker.
After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-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, once 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–but 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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I was hooked from the premise alone – putting the Joker, Batman, and Catwoman all in the same high school. That premise combined with the YA author Melissa de la Cruz, I knew I had to read Gotham High! Batman is a figure I know a bit more about because of the Marie Lu book, but other than that I just am familiar with these figures’ movies. Who were they when they were just Jack, Selena, and Bruce?
Gotham High is a book that talks about these iconic figures’ origin stories, the differences in their backgrounds and privilege. From the beginning you can see the traces of who they could grow up to be, but it’s the conditions that sparked it all. The intense difference in status and privilege between Bruce and the other students at Gotham High, which has disastrous and dangerous consequences. How with wealth comes jealously and radical actions. For some money is the answer to their problems or a curse. What will we do to solve our problems?
From this line up, I knew I would probably love Selena the most, and not only for her taste in fashion! And I was right. Her story stole the show for me. I assumed this would be all Bruce Wayne focused, but what I loved was that Selena is a major character here. I want more Catwoman content in my life! She has to figure out how to handle her dad’s debilitating health and her lack of family support system. She is forced to be self-sufficient. What tools does Selena have at her disposal?
I love that Gotham High tackles Catwoman, the Joker, and Batman because they all aren’t super in the sense of super speed. They made themselves into who they needed to be, built empires on which they stand, and they don’t have another planet they can fly to when things go south. For DC fans there are plenty of little side character appearances as well! Gotham High asks us about our situation in life, our privilege, is it just the luck of our birth?