After a 2 month break from the 80’s murderous story of assassin teen angst, I found my return to Deadly Class to be a breath of fresh air. Actually, it felt more like a breath of air of the burning flesh of slaughtered rednecks. But either way, it was nice to return to the trials and travails of young Marcus, Saya, Willie, Billy, and of course, death faced Maria who has become the focal point in recent issues. Our gang in Issue #11 brought the fight to eradicate Fuckface and his band of incestuous murderous family felons. The action was intense and brutal. But behold, our gang finished on top, minus some serious teen drama between Maria and Saya in regard to young Marcus and his affections. There were no casualties on our team either. Job well done guys. But alas, the victory (and zero casualties) is quite short lived in Issue #12 as Maria’s, I guess you would say adopted family/cartel El Alma de Diablo, have come to find Maria and see what has happened to the cartel patriarch’s son Chico who was Maria’s old squeeze and a pretty bad boyfriend. What they do find is Maria and Marcus together. And making matters worse, Marcus just happens to be holding the severed head of Chico. Not a good thing to be holding. Oh, and I forgot to mention, this cartel is the most violent one in all of Mexico. This is what begins our story on Issue #12. And once things are over, nothing may never be the same again.
One good thing to see in this issue is that Marcus finally uses his head for a change instead of taking a misstep. Actually, he uses Chico’s head. But the move buys time and allows for a retreat from this nasty situation. Hot on the pursuit however is the brother of Chico who it is safe to say might be the stronger brother of the two. Intensity follows as we see Maria and Marcus, working as a strong tandem in working to vanquish this threat that has no disregard for anything, including innocent human life.
Now if you thought the assault on Fuckface’s compound last issue was brutal and hardcore, it is nothing even close to the action of this issue. We go white knuckle all the way from the Marcus/Maria escape until the painful conclusion. Needless to say, I was upset to see that I was out of pages. I wanted more.
After a run of some decent, but not overwhelming issues from recent history, writer Rick Remender and artist Wes Craig return with a bloody and explosive vengeance here both in story and art. This issue is easily one of the better ones to date and it brings back all of the emotional intrigue that has been a trademark of this series back into perspective.
Marcus has been a mess for some time. And he still is here, but as you read, you almost see a maturity occur in him that sets up the upcoming issue. Marcus finally cares about someone, really cares about someone. And you better believe that he will unleash some mad dog fury to save someone he loves. But as always, in spite of this growth, Marcus still has his own coping mechanisms that pop up on the last page. But I think this time, things are going to be different. Issue #13 is shaping up to be a banner one.
With Wes Craig, his amped up brutality matches Remender’s hypomanic script perfectly. It works here and works to brutal assassin like accuracy. There are some multi-panel sequences that really press the intensity making you feel the blood, sweat, and tears of each of our characters.
Deadly Class began as a humble view of 80s teen chaos from the perspective of a high school of assassins. It dealt with cliques, romance, and some homicide too. But somewhere though, those teens became grownups. And what began as small scale assaults have ended into all-out war. As I said, nothing will be the same from here. Marcus has reached a break point and the time to put away childish things has occurred. Bring it man.