Gladstone’s Insider: Creating Storm Treader

by Mark Andrew Smith on 15.09.22 in Uncategorised

Gladstone’s Insider: Creating Storm Treader

When Armand Villavert and I were creating the first issue of Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors, we had a double-paged recess scene with a lot of characters that Armand drew into the background.

One of these characters was a kid flying on a cloud, much like the Monkey King.

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As the writer I wanted to make the Gladstone’s universe feel as real as possible, so I went about coming up with names for the background characters and wanted to incorporate these characters into later storylines. Part of this was so we could refer to the double splash page in issue 1 and say, ‘Look they were there the whole time!’ 😊

I came up with a list of names for the kid flying on a cloud in the background and ran the list by Armand. Out of all the potential names he liked the name ‘Storm Treader’.

Storm Treader made our list of characters to introduce later much like we did with ‘The Speed Specter’ and ‘Man of War’ where they were seen earlier. You can also see Man of War on this double splash page and he’s riding the jelly fish. Speed Specter was on the cover for issue one but didn’t make an appearance in the first book.

When we asked David Michelinie to write an issue of Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors, I sent David a list of potential new character names. He liked ‘Storm Treader’ the most.

David wrote Storm Treader into the story and Armand wanted to redesign the character from the recess scene to give him a huge jacket and kind of a pirate look.

Armand is also Filipino American and wanted the character to be Filipino which I was excited about because representation is important in our series, and we try.

Storm Treader kept the same powers he had in the original recess scene and David being the first writer of Storm Treader had a say in his look, personality, and his background.

So that’s how a new character was created for Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors.

The creation of Storm Treader was almost 10 years in the making.

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