Friday, June 17, 2011

Comic Review: Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors

When you’re an aging supervillain who has decided to get married and raise a family, where else can you possibly send your little ones to learn the tools of the trade than to Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors. With courses in monster creation, designing your secret headquarters, and gym, it is truly a place where only the most evil of students can possibly learn to survive (come on – we ALL know how gym was). I don’t normally do reviews of individual issues of a comic, preferring instead the format of a collected edition, but I was given the opportunity to check out the first two issues of this series and from my initial glance it reminded me enough of Atomic Robo that I decided to dive in and check it out. And boy am I glad I did. Yes, it’s filled with some of the same kinds of irreverent humor as Atomic Robo is, though where that book tends to be more of an X-files spoof, this is aimed squarely at the superhero genre (with maybe a touch of Harry Potter thrown in for good measure). Some of the humor is situational – the ridiculousness of having young children in these extremely dangerous situations learning how to control their powers… hey wait a minute, that sounds a lot like the X-Men. Then there’s the Superman clone sitting down with his nemesis before their upcoming scheduled battle to plan out how the play-by-play is going to go. There are fun things going on in the background as well though, and it’s not played up for laughs, and could ultimately be the backbone of what’s probably going to be larger plotlines in the overall story of this comic. Like how the adults talk about a peace treaty that already exists with the heroes when no children are around, though there are some who would like to see that treaty broken. Or the two children who seem particularly psychotic, who’s mother is currently serving time and strikes fear into even the most powerful of teachers at the school. And then there’s the budding romance between Mummy Girl and Kid Nefarious – it might be boring to have these kinds of standard tropes if it weren’t for the names of these kids. But at the same time, it's also comfortine that despite the outrageous nature of this kind of school, these same kinds of problems are universal. So, yes, I enjoyed the heck out of these first two issues of Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors – and if a little irreverence for the superhero genre is something you might enjoy, I’d recommend you check it out too.

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