Gotham Girl's return sits at the messy intersection of trauma and superpowers

'Gotham Girl: Interrupted' excerpt
'Gotham Girl: Interrupted' excerpt (Image credit: David Lapham/Trish Mulvihill (DC))

Gotham Girl was one of several young, new heroes introduced with much fanfare in 2016, but since then she's had a rough road. Now she's back on her own two feet, and starring in her own three-part story beginning in April's Detective Comics #1059.

Detective Comics #1059 variant cover (Image credit: Rodolfo Migliari (DC))

The three-pack backup serial 'Gotham Girl: Interrupted' will be written by Sina Grace, with art from David Lapham and colorist Trish Mulvihill.

"Claire Clover's reintegration into society after an extended stay at Arkham is thrown a curveball by way of a gossip site using her Gotham Girl moniker to air the city's dirty laundry," Grace tells Newsarama. "Gotham Girl has to keep it together long enough to find out who's running the site while fending off half of Gotham City's criminal underworld, all while maintaining appearances as a normal high school girl that Batman need not worry about."

The title, 'Gotham Girl: Interrupted,' is taken from the 1993 memoir Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen. The book chronicles her experiences as a young woman in the psychiatric hospital system after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. You might know it best for the 1999 film adaptation starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie.

'Gotham Girl: Interrupted' unlettered page (Image credit: David Lapham/Trish Mulvihill (DC))

As Grace tells Newsarama, this DC serial will also be delving into mental health issues - something that was a key component of the character since her creation in 2016 by Tom King and David Finch.

"Many of the conversations I see about mental health in pop culture are focused on 'getting better,' which feels like an incredibly unfair angle for those whose struggles don't go away with a pill or talk therapy," says Grace. "Gotham Girl is a story that redefines and brings heroism to the concept of 'getting by.' Looking at her entire backstory, there's no easy fix to the pain Gotham Girl has been through, and this story examines that in a meaningful way that I hope steers her future moving forward."

Detective Comics #1059 main cover (Image credit: Ivan Reis/Danny Miki (DC))

'Gotham Girl, Interrupted' will be a standalone story, but we're told its effects will be "echoed" in the Detective Comics series for the rest of the year.

"I've always wanted to tell a story about how complicated a teenager's life would be in Gotham City. My editor Paul Kaminski blessed me with the best angle ever by asking me to think about Gotham Girl's next chapter," says Grace. "Claire Clover and I found each other at the best possible moment, as I've spent a lot of time lately exploring how we as people carry on with trauma and grief in the long run. It's been a wildly satisfying experience juggling these heavy themes with a character who is in high school and has Superman's powers… plus, Gotham. City."

Grace, an artist himself, is delighted at having his scripts transformed into comics by artist David Lapham. 

"I knew I was working with a legend, but I am truly amazed by David Lapham's work balancing the action, heart, and emotional heft in our story," Grace says.

Here are three unlettered, uncolored pages from Detective Comics #1059 'Gotham Girl: Interrupted' part one:

Gotham Girl debuted in 2016's DC Universe: Rebirth #1, and was created by King and Finch for the 'Rebirth' era Batman series. The character broke into superheroing with her brother, Gotham, but was quickly traumatized on multiple levels by his death in the line of duty. After finding some consolation from her grief by in confiding in Batman their mutual tragedies, she fell in with a bad crowd - Bane's - and took part in a Gotham City takeover as told in the 'City of Bane' story arc.

'Gotham Girl: Interrupted' begins in April 26's Detective Comics #1059, and run as a back-up for three issues.

Gotham Girl is a part of the large group of heroes known as the Bat-family. We rank the best of the Bat-family, and how they relate back to Batman. 

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)