Release Date: 5-4-11
Author: Mark Andrew Smith
Artist: Armand Villavert
Colors: Carlos Carrasco
Cover Artist: Armand Villavert
Cover Price: $2.99
Paul's Grade: B
The first issue of this new ongoing series is clever and lots of fun. It opens with a brief and rather silly prologue describing the eponymous Gladstone and how he and his school got started. It sets the tone for the rest of the issue: Lighthearted genre-parody rife with supervillains and supervillainy. After the nine-page introduction the scene jumps to the here and now and the introduction of the first principal character.
The book is shaping up to feature a large ensemble cast much like most classic teenage/high school dramas. Unfortunately the two female characters in this issue left me pretty flat. Mummy Girl with her puppy love for Kid Nefarious has a couple pages of in-class daydreaming by way of an introduction. It seemed to me a tired and overdone motif even with the supercriminal element.
This book needs more scenes like THIS
Recess kicks off with a gigantic two-page fracas of kid supercriminals battering one another and getting up to general schoolyard roughhousing on a whole new level. Great costumes and a really engrossing palette of powers being displayed. I especially like the kid para-trooper and the one riding the flying pink jellyfish.
The issue also ends with three pages of dialogue between a hero and a villain that sets up a tantalizing mystery for next issue. Their talk also potentially casts the Skull Brothers' rant from earlier in the issue in a much different light.
Gladstone's #2 will be on my pull list and I am hoping that the quality only improves from here. I especially hope that the main characters will become more endearing with more exposure (though I feel they could just as easily become increasingly aggravating). But this issue is bright and fun and well worth the $2.99 cover price.