Review: Deadly Class #1
Rick Remender can’t do anything wrong when writing comics these days. He’s got well received books at Marvel, and Black Science continues to sell out at Marvel. Now with Deadly Class, it’s time to add one more amazing book to his lineup.
Remender spends the majority of the issue delving into what makes Marcus an interesting lead, and the world around him. What follows in an incredibly immersive world that quickly builds a world around Marcus that feels both new and strangely similar. Much like Black Science, Remender gives definition to Marcus’ life within a few panels. His story is tragic, and a little out there, but very relatable. It’s not how things happen to Marcus, but how he feels afterwards that makes him so relatable. But while Marcus lives in a harsh world, Remender gives small glimpses of hope in him. Considering the ME ME ME attitude of the 80’s, Marcus feels like a Breakfast Club character placed in a fantastical world. The 80’s setting isn’t thrown in the readers face, with only a few passing references to Reagan and the irony of Marcus’ situation helping establish the setting in the 1980’s. What I loved most about Marcus was how easily the reader could slip into his shoes. He’s not a blank slate, but back-story broad open enough that readers with different backgrounds can all relate and feel like they are him in this story.
The blending of worlds is astounding. On paper, a school of assassins mixed in a Breakfast Club view of the 80’s shouldn’t work. But with Remender’s focus on characters, the setting eases into the story without coming out of left field. In a way, Deadly Class is every teenager’s fantasy. They feel like they exist in a world that they will never leave an impact on, but something comes a long and they become part of something bigger. Unlike other stories involving teens, Deadly Class isn’t filled with wining or self loathing. The teenagers might not necessarily like their lives, but they are in control and are doing their best to make it better. The rest of the teenagers in this story fill most of the 80’s stereotypes. You have your love interest, nerd, jock, douche, and authority figure. Classic set up, but a new candy coating makes it all feel different than stories in the past.
Wes Craig’s artwork is simply stunning. The flow of the panels is so smooth and effortless. Craig crams a lot into certain pages, but every panel has more than enough room to breathe. When the girl rescues Marcus, only to fly into a cop car, was inspired. Taking a quick glance at the page makes the sequence look illogical and confusing. Oh boy does the end result treat your eyes. I loved the designs of the teen assassins. Craig fits them to the 80’s high school movie stereotypes without going overboard or making them caricatures to fit the necessary role. Lee Loughridge’s colors bring a rich texture to the world. The use of different colors for different months doesn’t stick out until the second read through, but helps set the tone for Marcus’ story perfectly.
The one bad thing about Deadly Class #1? I’ve had “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds stuck in my head since reading it.
Deadly Class #1 gets 5/5.