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208 pages, Paperback
First published April 7, 2020
DC Comics' new graphic novel Gotham High reimagines a teenage Bruce Wayne — along with young versions of Catwoman, a.k.a. Selina Kyle, and the Joker, a.k.a. Jack Napier — in a world that feels more on par with Gossip Girl and Crazy Rich Asians than anything that's come before in the canon.
After Bruce, a rich Chinese-American loner, gets kicked out of his boarding school, he returns to Gotham City to find his home and former friends are nothing like he left them. Former girl-next-door Selina is now the queen bee of Gotham High, ruling over everyone with a dark side no one knows about, and class clown Jack will do anything to get the last laugh. And when a string of kidnappings seem to target Bruce, he finds himself embroiled in a dangerous love triangle with the very people he suspects are at the center of it.
She explains, “Bruce Wayne is the billionaire. He’s the richest man alive. So I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if his family was Chinese and from Hong Kong? That made it feel real.”
I’m part-Chinese, my brother lives in Hong Kong, so I thought it would be great to put what I know into Bruce Wayne. I just wanted him to be a little bit more representative of my background and giving him an authentic family – Alfred is not just his butler but also his uncle, his gay uncle from Hong Kong. It gives it this fabulous Crazy Rich Asians sheen to it.
I had this haircut and it’s the same haircut we ended up giving the Joker. It became a great reference throughout the process since I just had to look at myself. [Laughs] In a weird way, the Joker character is the most like me.
I pitched a kind of Gossip Girl Batman, and in my mind I wanted to reinvent Chuck Bass. He’s still Bruce Wayne, it’s not the Great Gatsby, so he’s still brooding, he’s still a loner, he still has all that iconic Batman personality. You can’t mess with that much. But making him Chinese was a no-brainer — everyone was on board from the beginning.