Gotham, Money, and Teens REVIEWING Gotham High

Welcome to The Real World According To Sam!

Today I'm talking about another DC YA graphic novel - though this one hasn't been as good as the last ones. 

Gotham High

Author: Melissa de la Cruz, Thomas Pitilli, Miquel Muerto, and Troy Peteri
Year: 2020
Genre: YA Graphic Novel


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 romance are of the highest stakes...and where everyone is a suspect. 


Alright, this one has some issues. I did not enjoy it. I was excited for it since it was written by Melissa de la Cruz. While the first Blue Bloods novel was okay, I really liked the Descendants novels she wrote. Unfortunately, the story for Gotham High just isn't good. I didn't like this one. There were some aspects I thought had potential, but overall this was a major disappointment. 

I understand needing fresh takes on popular characters who have had numerous stories and versions told about them, but this is NOT a good take on Batman, Catwoman, and the Joker. There's nothing very compelling about either of them as teens and this really just felt like a waste. I didn't mind the adjustments of making them teenagers, but this story doesn't bring out the best of them in that situation. Selina is exceedingly unlikable, Bruce isn't very compelling, and Jack isn't really like the Joker. These just seem like generic characters in a teen drama, instead of being compelling DC characters. That's my biggest complaint. 

Of all the DC YA graphic novels I've read, this one feels the LEAST like a DC story. I don't mind the Bruce Wayne shift, making him Asian. After all, his son Damian is Asian and that would be rather fitting in some ways. Selina is a terrible character. Her motivations are fine, but some of her choices and actions just don't feel right. Don't even get me started on the semi-love triangle here, which I thought was utter garbage. A lot of this story feels super clunky and strange. It isn't a very compelling tale and this wouldn't be my first pick for a recommended read if I was asked for a DC YA graphic novel. I don't think I'd recommend it at ALL. 

Unfortunately, this graphic novel feels forced and lackluster. The art was good, but good art can't save the boring story. This could stand as its own teen drama, but not as a DC story with beloved characters that aren't done justice. I'm all for Elseworlds and have enjoyed several. This one doesn't do a good job of retelling a compelling Batman story. I give Gotham High a Lone Star rating of ✯✯ stars, for the art. I don't hate it, but it definitely isn't a graphic novel I'll be revisiting. One read was more than enough. 

Thanks for joining me for today's review here at The Real World According to Sam, where I bring the books to your computer screen and even put in my two cents about them! See you at the next review!