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, 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, 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!
Gotham High provides examples of:
- Abled in the Adaptation: Unlike her mainstream counterpart, Principal Gordon does not wear glasses.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Jack looks way better than most versions of the man who would become Joker in other continuities.
- Adaptational Heroism: Jack appears to be a lot more mentally stable and functional than his canon counterpart.
- Adaptational Intelligence: Selina's always portrayed as intelligent but in a Street Smart way. Here, she's at one point seen easily solving an advanced math problem on a blackboard when no one else is around.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Jack has a lot of issues, but displays many positive qualities (love for Selina, genuine friendship with Bruce) here that aren't on show in other continuities, where before becoming the Joker he's a gangster (Batman (1989) and Batman: The Animated Series) or a bitter, depressed comic (The Killing Joke).
- Adaptational Sexuality: Alfred Pennyworth has a husband.
- Adaptational Villainy: While the morality of her canon counterpart is sometimes questionable, this version of Selina ends up being the Big Bad of the series, openly admitting she manipulated both Bruce and Jack for-profit and being responsible for the kidnapping and torture of this universe's version of Harvey Dent.
- Adaptation Name Change:
- In a difference from other portrayals that treat "Jack Napier" as the Joker's real name, his real name here is "John Napier" with Jack being a nickname.
- Being Bruce's maternal uncle, Alfred's full name is now Alfred Dean-Pennyworth, with "Pennyworth" being his husband's surname.
- Age Lift:
- Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson appear to be much older than their canon counterparts, being in the same age group as Bruce, Selina, and Jack.
- A smaller example, but there is typically a five year age difference between Bruce and Selina at the most. Here the age gap is smaller. Bruce is established to be seventeen with his birthday approaching and Selina says she will be twenty-one in five years, telling us she is sixteen.
- The Chessmaster: Selina, to an unbelievable degree.
- Composite Character: Alfred is combined with Bruce's uncle Philip, who became the legal guardian of Bruce before Alfred's introduction. A difference here however, is that Alfred is portrayed as Bruce's maternal uncle, while Philip was his paternal uncle.
- Decomposite Character: In relation to Adaptational Sexuality, Alfred's husband John Pennyworth bears a physical resemblance to the mainstream Alfred.
- Disabled Inthe Adaptation: Alfred wears glasses this time around while his husband John Pennyworth, whom bears a resemblance to the mainstream Alfred, does not.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: All Selina's actions are driven by her need to ensure her Alzheimers-stricken father gets the help he needs.
- Gender Flip: Commissioner Gordon is a woman, who is also the principal of the school.
- High School A.U.: The premise of Gotham High is to have Batman and his Rogues Gallery members as normal teenagers attending the same school.
- Kick the Dog: When a crushed Jack asks Selina near the end if any of their romance was real, she dismisses him as "the biggest joke".
- Race Lift: Bruce and Alfred are Taiwanese, Selina is Latina, Commissioner Gordon, her daughter, and Dick Grayson are black and Poison Ivy is Korean.
- Related in the Adaptation: Alfred is Bruce's maternal uncle rather than simply his butler in this universe.
- Recycled Premise: It is not the first time DC tried to put Batman and his villains in a high school setting, previously they tried to make an animated series based on that idea not once, but twice. The first attempt morphed into Batman Beyond and the second never made it past few pieces of concept art.