Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 4/11/20
The virus apocalypse is still very much in effect and the world of comics may never be the same. You all know this. You’re here for comic book reviews! And good news, I actually have one! This week saw the release of the much-talked-about Gotham High graphic novel aimed, I think, at young adults.
There are no new regular comics coming out, only random digital comics that I just don’t feel like reading. So I decided to grab a digital copy of Gotham High to read and review because this book has received some heat recently — and not the good kind of heat. The annoying, roll-your-eyes, can’t believe the people that say this stuff call themselves comic book fans kind of heat. Rather than let that stand, I decided to add my review to the mix!
Comic Reviews: Gotham High.
Writer: Melissa de la Cruz
Artist: Thomas Pitilli
Colorist: Miguel Muerto
Letterer: Troy Peteri
I don’t really feel like going into detail on any of the “controversy” about Gotham High, because it’s all hogwash and not worth any of our time. Suffice to say, this is an Elseworlds re-imagining of Bruce Wayne and his regular cast set in a modern American high school. It’s geared towards young adults, I think, so I’m definitely not the target audience. But I gave it a read anyway!
I won’t spoil the whole plot like I usually do in my reviews. Just don’t feel like it. Also, it should be noted, there are few to no costumes in this. So don’t expect Batman and the Joker.
Bruce Wayne gets expelled from his rich kid prep school and is sent home to Wayne Manor and Gotham High. He’s reunited with his childhood friend and next-door-neighbor Selina Kyle, who introduces him to her friend Jack Napier, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks with a love for card games (and Selina). When a kidnapping attempt on Bruce goes wrong (they accidentally kidnap Harvey Dent instead), Bruce begins an investigation into who might be targeting him. All while Selina plays with both boys’ hearts and minds.
Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.
This is a good, solid comic with a strong story, good character work and great artwork. I wouldn’t call it any kind of standout. Like, it’s not anything particularly special, in my opinion. But it’s still a good, easy read and creates a fun new alternate world for Batman and his usual cast. I’d be more than happy to read a sequel or see it turned into a Riverdale-esque show on The CW. De la Cruz writes everybody well and has strong handles on all of her characters; she knows exactly who she’s writing. Everybody is flavored a bit like their regular comic book counterparts, and that’s fun. And then the GN is filled with all manner of cameos and Easter Eggs, like Richard Grayson, Principal Gordon, Barbie Gordon, Ivy and more. This is everything you could want from a solid, no-frills Elseworld comic.
The story itself isn’t anything to write home about, but it gets the job done. De la Cruz seems to give the mystery away right up front, which was a weird choice in hindsight. Because the rest of the comic is still written as if the kidnapping plot is still a mystery. So that was a bit weird. But there are still plenty of bits and pieces still to uncover throughout the comic, and the character work is still strong enough to propel the whole thing forward. You’ve got to go into Gotham High wanting to read Gotham High, and then just enjoy it at face value.
The art is really great. It’s crisp, clear, detailed and capable of handling big and small scenes with equal panache. Quality coloring too. DC got some good artists to draw this thing and it works perfectly for the GN.
TL;DR: Gotham High delivers exactly what it promises, with a solid story, good character work and great artwork. It’s not about to set the world on fire, but is nevertheless an enjoyable new Elseworlds tale crafted for a YA audience.