"Don't you recognize Pauly?!" Deadly Class is one of my favorite series of the last two years. I grabbed the first trade when it came out because Remender had been doing a consistently good job of grabbing me with any of his indie stuff at the time. The story was charming and despite being derivative of a hundred different things, felt original because of the amount of care being put into each and every character. Actions really speak for themselves in this series, and between the unity with which Remender and Craig were communicating their story, and the incredible color work being done by Lee Loughridge, I was hooked.
Boyd is on color duty now, and while his style is subtler than Loughridge's was on this title, he is mostly performing the same kind of tasks. You are never at a loss for where you are or what you ought to be feeling, even if you don't read a single word or haven't read a single issue before this one. Colors signal violent emotional crescendos, and set the tone of each and every scene. Boyd's slightly more varied palette fits perfectly with the fact that Craig's layouts have become much more hectic, since the chaos of the current plot makes early chapters feel relaxed by comparison.
And boy, Craig's layouts really are something. Remender is doing enough with this plot where I would check up on this comic on a regular basis regardless of what it looked like visually. The visuals, however, are a reason in and of themselves to pick up an issue. Craig constantly takes chances with his layouts, creating a heightened sense of things like drama and movement, which are often amplified by the compartmentalized approach to coloring. Again, Craig has been willing to be creative with his layouts since the very first volume of this series; it's simply the case that things in this book are absolutely NUTS right now, and Craig is reflecting that in his visual approach to telling this story.
There are a few books on the stands right now with creative teams that are in lock-step. Deadly Class is the longest tenured of these books, and the most complete package, which is especially impressive given a change in colorists on a title where color really is pulling a third of the weight.
Deadly Class #18 Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Wes Craig Colorist: Jordan Boyd Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Print/$3.99 Digital Format: Print/Digital Website