Friday, May 06, 2011

Gladstone's School For World Conquerors

Picked this up on a whim because I really enjoyed writer Mark Andrew Smith's previous work on The Amazing Joy Buzzards and Aqua Leung (and had also pledged to his Kickstarter book, The New Brighton Archaeological Society).  This book was a real pleasant surprise, essentially the flip side to superhero training school based comics (Zoom's Academy comes to mind), this books begins witht he history of the title institution, began by a villain who wasn't very good at his job. From there we're introduced to some of the students, who deal with the same trials that kids everywhere deal with; not measuring up to their parents' expectations, boring teachers, schoolyard taunting, however the students are also by and large, well, evil. And super-powered.  So there's that.

The word "fun" is thrown a lot in comics reviews, but it's tough to not include it in this one.  Though the book does touch on some heady subjects (absent parents, truly sociopathic children) it balances them well with bright action and wit.  The comics gives you a good handle on the main characters, the layout of the school and the dark (well, not that dark) secret that lies in the background of their world. 

The art is handled by Armand Villavers and he does a very nice job.  Similar to the style of Smith's previous Buzzards collaborator Dan Hipp, but the edges are a little less sharp and stylized, which definitely suits the book's all-ages tone.

This book was a great pick-up for me and I look forward to handing it off to the kids to check out.  It's also a great value, offering 40 pages of story for only $2.99, so if you're looking for something to pick up when you're at the shop tomorrow for Free Comic Book Day (and if you're going you should buy something too), this is a good choice. 

No comments: