Our young villains in training are getting a serious workout in gym class when the session is interrupted with news of the big fight between Centurion and The Red Octopus. It’s being televised live for everyone to see, complete with colorful punch by punch commentary. However, just outside the school gym a very real fight is taking place between the parents and one man who wants a return to the old ways. He’s pretty much handling the various adult villains pretty well until the man himself, Ironsides, shows up to put a stop to the fight. He shows us why he’s the main man and takes the guy down while teaching him the word of the day, which is “quixotic.” Nothing like receiving a little education after getting pounded a few feet into the concrete.
After reading Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #1 and thoroughly enjoying myself, I was pretty much sold on this series. Everything that was pure fire about the last issue carries right over on through to this one here. Smith’s dialog is just perfect and reminds me of far too many conversations had with friends when I was younger. There’s even a bit of mystery in this story, as Smith is dropping hints here and there about why the heroes and villains are “cooperating” in secret. It’s also good to see that there’s another faction of characters that don’t agree with this, so it’s going to be interesting to see how he lays everything out. You’re also going to be treated to some great artwork that compliments the story oh so well. Villavert’s style here goes from humorous to fast paced action while keeping the feel of the story consistent. The colors jump out, grab your eyes, and squeezes them until you cry from joy at the great looking pages.
The book has an all ages appeal, but isn’t dumbed down since Smith packs it with smart wit and a very interesting cast of characters. You’ll find yourself liking the kids even though they’re villains in training, and you’ll definitely enjoy their antics. When people ask the question, “What comics are out there that would get younger readers interested in the genre?”, Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors should definitely be on that list!