Review: Deadly Class #7

It’s downright insane how killer of a job Rick Remender has been doing lately in the realm of comics. While it’s often in stiff competition with Black Science, my favorite thing of his right now is Deadly Class. This book about a school of assassins for troubled teens has spent little time in class and a lot of time following the antics of those students. The first issue left a huge impression on me, giving me more entertainment than any first issue I could think of at the time. This issue is the most compelling one since, offering some downright profound narration, chilling, freaky atmosphere, and gripping, complex character work; it’s a fascinating, amazing comic book.

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For the first couple pages, readers are treated to a downright horrific opening, building up the larger threat that has been lurking in the background throughout the series. The often rough crudeness of this book shines bright in this opening, making for the most uncomfortable comic book sequence in recent memory. It’s brilliantly done, with a slow-burn buildup transitioning into a full-blown horror show. Interesting things are done with page layouts and shadows to build onto the effect.

That is merely the opening sequence, however. The primary story is centered upon protagonist Marcus Lopez’s newfound girlfriend, obtained during a time-gap since the last issue. Incredibly affecting and brutal narration from Marcus about depression glowed in the first issue and comes back for more here. Taking up a big chunk of this comic is Marcus’s thoughts on his majorly depressed girlfriend. As somebody who has beaten major depression just like Marcus, I find it immeasurably difficult not to find some truth in his cynical, dark, and pessimistic musings on how beating depression alters one’s perspective on other depressed people; it’s so smart.

Besides that, it’s just a well-done comic book. It’s filled with fun surprises, multifaceted character work, and solid artwork from Wes Craig. Expectations are played with and small elements of the story pop into bigger shocks. These kids are filled with so many violent, lust-filled and conflicted feelings, and the results are consistently satisfying. So much is said about sex, emotional attachment, relationships and unhappiness in very simple ways. The great art is rife with finely detailed line work, facial expression full of nuance, pages sticking to a certain theme of coloring, and grotesque, gross imagery.

It’s done immensely well. It’s an amazing comic book that begs to be read. There is so much here and it is all gracefully, carefully executed. Don’t doze off from having to wake up at six a.m.; pay attention Deadly Class.

Story: Rick Remender Art: Wes Craig
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.00 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

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Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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