What do the world's supervillains do with their kids? Clearly villains would want their kids to follow in their evil footsteps but how can they ensure this? Villains are often incarcerated or busy cooking up schemes to take on the heroes. Imagine if there was a school the villains could send their kids to. That's what we have with Gladstone's School for World Conquerors, a new series by Mark Andrew Smith at Image Comics.
The first issue was great and the second is on sale this Wednesday, June 15, 2011. We talked to Mark to find out more about this series.
Comic Vine: Where did the idea of a school for young villains come from and why do you think we haven't seen something like this before?
Mark Andrew Smith: Gladstone's School for World Conquerors started with the name and a cast of six characters. I liked the idea that there are people who are set to take over the world but they're adorable. That was the original premise and from there the stories and characters took on a life all their own, and the book has grown so much since inception. I'm not sure why we haven't seen anything like it before. I think that's great for both Armand and I.
Comic Vine: The comic is about (young) villains yet is so bright and cheerful, was this always what you had in mind for the series?
Mark Andrew Smith: The book is very bright and cheerful and I think there's a good contrast. It usually stays fun, but the action is going to pick up a lot as the story develops more. In issue 3, we find out a lot more about the Skull Brothers and the world of the parents.
CV: Ashu Gladstone, the founder of the school, sort of met his final fate in issue #1, are there any plans to see more of him?
MAS: A few people have asked me that, and before, Ashu Gladstone had been out of my mind, but now I'm sure maybe a year or two down the line we might see more of him, and it's going to be interesting to see what side of the fence he allies himself with. He's not a powerful character but he might have a bright future outside of being a statue and a chance to redeem himself.
CV: There has been a lot of characters/students at the school. How many have you guys designed? Do the background characters have names or will they just stay in the background? Will more step forward into the 'spotlight'?
MAS: We have our basic cast of 6 characters and then a lot of adults throughout the series. They're going to take the main spots and about every issue a few more characters are introduced. Eventually some of the background characters will step more into the spotlight but we really want to focus on the 6 for now.
CV: We can assume it's mainly villains sending their children to the school, what is the admission and tuition process?
MAS: It's all villains sending their children to school. The tuition is $2.99 and everyone can attend. :)
CV: We're starting to see more of the world outside the school, will we see more? Is the public aware that the school exists?
MAS: Most of the book is going to start to take place outside of the school. Issue 3 is mostly outside of the school, as well as 4, 5, 6. 7 and 8 take place in school. And 9-12 take them out of school on a mission together that's very important. We're going to see a lot more of the world outside of the school and how it operates.
CV: How far out do you have the story planned?
MAS: We have the story planned out to about 24 issues right now, but we have plans to take it further. Issue 24, is an ending of sorts, but also a perfect beginning. It's the largest way the book could end and the largest beginning for the next chapter. I see issue 24 as being between the shows. I've just planned up to there because I want to focus on getting up to 24, and then still have a lot of room for surprises myself when we get there. I made a point not to think of what happens after until the moment arrives and we come to that juncture.
CV: What can you tell us to tease issue #3 and beyond?
MAS: It's hard two issues in because I want to be able to talk about the book. Issue 3 is a great issue and it really sets up the world of Gladstone's and readers know the score in full. I'm very excited about issues 5 and 6 which have the kids teaming up to take on a real heavy hitter, and it's a huge battle. We get to do so many cool things in these two issues and I'm looking forward to when issues 5 and 6 are in the hands of the public.
Be sure to look for issues #1 & 2 at your local comic shop with Wednesday.