Ok, I love Deadly Class. I have been hooked from the first issue and find myself when I am reading it to be brought back to those wayward days of my own youth when I was a teenager, trying to be cool, trying to get laid, and trying not to look like an idiot. A whole lot of the experiences of protagonist Marcus mirror some of my own… Well, maybe just some of the teen angst parts. The whole school of elite assassins thing probably is a little bit out of my area of expertise. But it is in writer Rick Remender’s portrayal of Marcus, and, well, all of the characters in this story that adds a human and innocent element to these folks who are supposed to be absolute bad asses. All of them have stories and things are beginning to come together in the angle of those stories. Issue #9 starts with Ms. Maria’s back story. It is pretty intense and I can see why she wears the death face is about all I can really say. In other areas of the story, Marcus makes nice with his roommate and the hunt for the Fuck Face Killer is on. We finally get to experience slam dancing and the wonderful world of the punk rock counter-culture to its fullest here, which was an intricate aspect of my own life those many years ago. Remender, you nailed the passion and the fury that is slam dancing my man. For that, I say thank you. You made an old man smile and remember.
Story wise, I continue to be pleased with Remender’s writing. I know a lot of it is nostalgia for me, but Remender writes in a way that makes these memories fresh and real again. I can smell the smoke and stale beer when it is being written on the page and this is a wonderful touch for me. And regarding the previous unpleasantness that happened in Vegas as well as Fuck Face, Remender puts us on the hook with Marcus, making us really unsure in how to progress and if he (we) should address those former friends that might have once liked you, but now hate you with a hate that only a teenager can have. It’s good stuff and Remender rocks it.
Adding to this cornucopia of good feelings has been Wes Craig’s sweet and grainy, almost raw depictions of the characters. Our youthful assassins are not all completely formed at times which coincides with their very own vulnerabilities and makes for strong interpretation in the story. When things need to be colorful, Craig loads it up and likewise brings it down when it needs to be dark. The aforementioned club scene is a good case in point of these shifting styles. Like Remender, you feel the nostalgia and feel like you are there when you read these pages.
Deadly Class has been one of my favorite titles for the year and maybe even one of my most favorites. It makes an old codger like myself relive those passions that I once had as a youth. Marcus and I were the same age in 1988, so I’m feeling it big time. Maybe not everybody will dig on it like me. But I know that I sure do. I actually found myself pulling up some Smiths on Spotify the other day after reading this issue. If that’s not love for the title, I don’t know what is.
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Wes Craig Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 11/19/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital