Issue: Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #6
Writer: Mark Andrew Smith
Art and Covers: Armand Villavert
Colors: Rodriguo Aviles
Letters and Design: Thomas Mauer
Publisher: Image Comics
As Shakespeare said, there are no new stories, just new ways to tell stories. Maybe it wasn’t Shakespeare who said that. It could have been Hemingway. Or perhaps Stan Lee. Regardless who said, it, that phrase speaks volumes when it comes to comic books. How many times can you tell a story about, for example, a super powered guy who flies and is impervious to bullets? Or, as is the case with this comic, about a school for super villains?
The answer is that you can do it an infinite amount of times if you know how to tell it in a different way than the guy before did it. That’s what I like about Image Comics in general. They are aware that we live in a post gold age/silver age/modern age comic world, and they thrive in it, with characters making references to deus ex machina and the whole idea of staged battles between heroes and villains. It’s good stuff.
(The following paragraphs contain spoilers, so stop here if you don’t like spoilers)
Or maybe I’m over analyzing this. Maybe they’re just lucky in the talented writing department. Either way, I dig on the Gladstone’s story, although the idea of kids killing people bothers me a bit (Orson Scott Card is the only person in my mind who can get away with that little gem). If you haven’t read this comic before, the premise is that these kids attend a school for super villains, but they don’t realize that the fights between heroes and villains are staged, kind of like pro wrestling.
This episode moves the premise of the story forward, as the kids continue to not really get it that the hero/villain thing is all staged, and don’t get the big reveal until it’s too late. And, like kids, they run away scared and hope nobody will notice that they accidentally killed a beloved hero who, they realize (also too late), wasn’t even trying to hurt them, just make it look good. Clever, right?
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars