Hello, friends! It’s been a hot minute since I joined in a blog tour, huh? I’m back with another Fantastic Flying Book Club tour today and this time it’s for the graphic novel: Gotham High! Every time I get picked to be part of any FFBC blog tour I die a little bit inside out of happiness because it’s always such a privilege 🥰 Huge thanks to FFBC for organising these amazing tours and to the authors/publishers as well for making the eARCs available to us.
Be sure to click on the banner above to see the other bloggers on tour!
Publisher: DC Comics
Release date: 07 April 2020
Genre: Graphic Novel, Superheroes, Young Adult
From 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. Before they became Batman, Catwoman, and The Joker, Bruce, Selina, and Jack were high schoolers who would do whatever it took–even destroy the ones they love–to satisfy their own motives.
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.
With enchanting 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!
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.
Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas. She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.
Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!). She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.
Confession time: I’ve never read a DC comic before but I’ve watched all the movies (okay, maybe not all the movies, but most)! Other than what I got through the movies and in passing over the years, I don’t really know much about these superheroes or their world, but I still really enjoyed this comic! I personally thought the writing was just okay but what I liked the most were the characters, artwork and the simple joy of recognising different characters in a different setting!
This series is geared towards young adults and I have to say that’s pretty obvious because the voice the author uses does come across as young. There’s quite a bit of high school drama mixed with a mystery and I thought it gave the story a darkish Riverdale vibe. I think a theme that also runs through the comics of these particular characters (Batman, Catwoman, the Joker) is the sociopolitical commentary on inequality and that was worked into the storyline quite nicely and fit with my impression of Gotham City from the movies.
I really liked reading about these younger versions pre- their superhero/antihero/super-villain days. I always enjoy seeing established characters in their youth as it gives good insight to their origins and how they become who we’ve always known! I particularly loved that they diversified these characters. For example, in this world Bruce Wayne is half-Chinese and ‘Principal Gordon is an African-American woman. I thought it was a fun and inclusive portrayal of such beloved characters and I think the author did a good job with it! I also like the twist that they gave to Alfred’s character who also added more diversity to the story.
It was great to see how the dynamics were set up. There was (unfortunately) a bit of a love-triangle that wasn’t necessary except to add a bit more drama to high school life, but I thought the mix of characters involved in it were interesting! I really liked Bruce and his mysterious/loner vibes but I thought Jack and Selina were the most intriguing because I knew the least about them. They were equally messed up but it was a surprise to see who was more so in the end! The character arcs really fuelled my imagination about how they ended up enemies from that point on. Spotting various familiar characters sprinkled throughout the comic was also a lot of fun; I got such joy from recognising their names and who they’d become! 🤣
The plot itself wasn’t entirely original or even surprising, but you didn’t have to think hard to figure out what’s going on, and that’s okay because the pacing was fast; though I felt that sometimes the scenes jumped around too much and felt disjointed. However, none of these points took away from my enjoyment of the graphic novel as a whole! Can we also give some appreciation to the artwork? The colour palette was gorgeous and the drawing style reminded me of classic DC comics with a modern twist?
Overall, I’m really glad I read this! I assume this is just the first issue of many and I’m curious to see what happens next as this had a bit of a cliffhanger ending. I’m also keen to see more character arc development and to see how the others will become more involved in the story too!
Have you read Gotham High or is it on your TBR?