Today marks the release of the second issue of Mark Andrew Smith's new comic, Gladstone's School for World Conquerors, with artwork by Armand Villavert and colors by Carlos Carrasco (letters by Thomas Mauer).
The comic is about a group of schoolchildren at a, well, school for world conquerors. What they don't know, however, is that the days of ACTUAL super-villainy ended a long time ago, and they're actually being trained to become, in effect, heels in a very elaborate form of professional wrestling. But some actual villains are having some trouble with that situation, leading to some interesting conflict.
There are three major stories in Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #2.
You have the further adventures of one of the students at the school, Kid Nefarious, as he tries to make his way through his schooling.
In this issue, Kid Nefarious and his fellow male students are being tested in gym class by a very familiar face...
Boy, I sure do miss Amazing Joy Buzzards! Smith and Dan Hipp were such a great pair. However, Villavert and Carrasco do El Campeon proud with their portrayal of the character.
So, after some more interesting hijinx (including a class where students create monsters), there is a break in studies to see the latest major superhero/supervillain fight. A fight that the students do not realize is rigged.
Villavert really shines here. Check out the expressiveness he has in the little would-be villains' faces...
So well done. He really captured the mood perfectly.
Later, we see a villain who does not like the current state of affairs for villainy. He is being hunted down by his fellow villains (many of whom have children in the school, including a woman who appears to be Kid Nefarious' mom)....
This issue was highly entertaining, and Smith manages to give us another issue that is filled with strong humor and rollicking action sequences while also building up the sub-plot of the supervillain/superhero truce. You know that EVENTUALLY the kids are going to find out and that eventually SOMEthing will go wrong with the truce, but Smith is expertly building up the tension of the plot as the issues go by, all the while still entertaining us with interesting characters and a fun comic book story (Mummy Girl, who had a bigger role in the first issue, took a bit of a backseat in this issue. Her only real moment is when Martian Kid, one of the more exempary students, discovers Mummy Girl's crush on Kid Nefarious).
I can't get over how good the artwork is on this book. Such a great job by the entire creative team!
Go pick up Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #2 - you won't regret it!