By Daniel Vlasaty
Before I moved recently I worked at a comic book store in Chicago called Graham Crackers Comics. I’m pretty sure that I got just about every person that came in to check out Deadly Class. Any time someone asked for a recommendation I would tell them about this book. I would scream at them about how awesome it is and how they need to be reading it! Like right now! What’s the hold-up! Jesus fucking Christ, check out this goddamn book already! It’s been one of my favorite books since it started coming out.
I love this book and I promise to try to keep that in check and write an actual review of this issue that is not just me screaming about how fucking GREAT this thing is.
Bear with me.
Issue #27 starts off a new story arc. And it’s got some big shoes to fill to follow the last arc. The last arc introduced a new class of characters but ended with a huge bang in bringing back one of the O.G.’s. And if this new issue is any indication this arc also looks like it’s going to be pretty damn intense.
I’ve become kind of obsessed with all things Yakuza lately and this issue was right up my alley, as it tells the story of Saya’s origins. Her time as a young girl, growing up with her Yakuza father and her brother, Kenji, who dreams of bigger and better things for the Kuroki family. But the problem here is Kenji’s kind of a joke. His friends give him shit and favor Saya to him. They take her into their work while pushing him away. Which speaks to the problems she’s had with him, and one of the main reasons she’s been at King’s Dominion school.
This issue tells the story of the fall of her family. This issues shows how everything went so wrong just as Saya’s time was beginning. And it shows us why she’s the way she’s always been. Why she always seems to have a chip on her shoulder.
One of the good things to come out of this issue is that it humanizes Saya. She’s always been so perfectly disciplined and just perfect, that it was never easy to like her as a character. She was flat and one-note. But now it’s all understandable and I have a newfound respect for her.
Listen, there’s nothing I can really say about Rick Remender’s writing. It’s great, flat-out. This book, in my opinion, is perfect. Both this issue and the series as a whole. Weirdly, though, I haven’t read much of Remender’s other stuff. I don’t know why. I own much of it, but I have entire long boxes of books I still need to read. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually. But maybe I haven’t read any of it because I’m afraid of it. Can anything else he’s done really be all that good when compared to Deadly Class?
Wes Craig’s art, though, man. It’s so good. I had never heard of Wes Craig until Deadly Class. And I’ve been enjoying watching his art get better and better with each new issue. I love the emotion and action of his stuff. I usually don’t like comic book art where the backgrounds are blank and empty and only colors, but it works here. I think it’s because this entire issue seems like an extended memory and usually memories are missing some details. All the focus is on the characters and their faces and their action. It’s great. Jordan Boyd’s colors really help too. They’re also great. They’re clunky and blocky and shadow-heavy. This issue is mostly done up in washed-out colors, again adding to the extended memory feel of it.
I know it’s obvious that I geek-out hard about this book. I’ve never hidden the fact that it’s my favorite comic book, maybe of all time. I think what initially got me was the angsty, punk rock feel of the earlier volumes. And now I’m just hooked. This is one book that I’m always just SUPER excited about. Seriously, though, if you haven’t started to read it what the fuck are you waiting for!?
Deadly Class #27