'Gotham High:' The Animated Teen Batman Show That Almost Was

This almost seems like a joke. A Batman cartoon featuring everyone as teenagers? And they all went to the same school? Well, it almost happened. That photo above is Clayface, Two-Face, The Penguin, Killer Croc, The Riddler, Batgirl, Batman, Scarecrow, Catwoman, Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Bane and Mr. Freeze. As teenagers. It's a promotional image from Gotham High, a show that was being developed by comic book artist/author team Celeste Green and Jeffrey Thomas based on an image they sent to DC. Ultimately, it "got lost in the sea of all the other Batman related projects in the works" but they've posted a bunch of images from the would-be show on their blog and they're kind of mind-blowing. Check them out after the jump.

Big thanks to NerdBastards (with a nod to Blastr) for the heads up, but all the images are from Jeff and Celeste's blog.

Here's how they described the show.

We all go through incredible changes as teenagers: growth spurts, bad skin, a sudden insatiable need to uphold justice and avenge your murdered parents.... Well, that is if you're Bruce Wayne. As if being a freshman at Gotham High wasn't tough enough, Bruce's insomnia and technological fascinations are taking their toll. Instead of spending his time studying, he has begun to obsess over an emerging personality trait: Batman. But under the watchful eye of his guardian and steward, Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce is forced to put his intelligence to good use: graduating high school. But given his classmates, can Bruce survive Gotham High?

You can read more on their blog, but basically, Jeff and Celeste sent in an image to DC just as an idea, they loved it, asked them to develop it, which they did, but it just got shelved. Which is surprising considering everything Batman is always so dark these days and this could have opened the franchise up to a newer, younger, audience.

Below are the images. Click on each for a large version. The pink one that looks like a poster is the original image that got Jeff and Celeste the job.

I see there as being two sides to this argument. The first is against. In the scheme of things, this would have been a way worse travesty than something like Smallville. Clark Kent growing up in Smallville is part of Superman's history. Sure he didn't meet Lex Luthor or Lois Lane there, but at least it was sort of trying to germinate from the comic books. Gotham High is just a complete fabrication.

On the pro-side,  it kind of sounds, and looks, like it would have been fun and open up some really cool scenarios in the Batman mythos. Just in those photos alone there are some great story lines and inside jokes and it got me wondering, how did all these characters meet? Why did no one care that they had powers? Were they always bad, or good, as it were?

I guess we'll never know.