Review: Deadly Class #10

deadly class 10

The latest issue of Deadly Class is a beautifully constructed train-wreck that never lets up. From the first page to the last, this comic never takes a break. It is constant discomfort that is all over the place, from a frantic run on the street to a congested comic book store to a violent Oceans 11-style operation. This is the comic book craft at its finest, delivering a wonderfully-paced story with downright unsettling art to accompany it. Yes, Deadly Class #10 rocks.

With its close-up of a bloodshot eye and a bird’s eye shot of two naked, knocked out teenagers, Deadly Class #10 is immediately uncomfortable. From that point on, it’s one location and plot point to the next: bam, bam, bam, until its conclusion. What keeps everything cohesive is the wonderfully written narration that has always been one of the strongest parts of this series. Given the rapid pace protagonist Marcus is forced to keep up with, his narration reads as rushed and confused. Just as the story progresses at a quick and hard to keep up with pace, so too does Marcus’s thoughts.

The narration continues to be fascinating, diving into an analysis of lust, motivation, love, depression, and just about anything else that is emotionally distressing. The plot of Deadly Class does a great job of sticking to a micro-level examination of its main character, not only showing what he does but giving readers a glimpse into his thought process. Each individual part of his life, whether it be his sex drive or his desire for revenge or his depression is interesting on its own, but it becomes downright captivating when one realizes all of these things are interlocked. The human mind is complex, and Deadly Class displays this elegantly.

Compartmentalizing things again, all of the sequences in this comic are great. Running around on the streets gives Marcus the most amount of time to think about his current predicament, giving readers loads of unsure and unreliable analysis. Laced between the car wrecks he causes and the trees he vomits on are little, creeping panels that flashback to his night, with just the right coloring to give off a nightmarish feeling. Even more enjoyable is the sequence in the comic book store he works at, which ramps up from crowds of loud nerds looking for very specific buys to the disaster that ends up getting Marcus in deep shit. This screw-up of his is so horrible and grotesque, and it is portrayed so horribly and grotesquely, that it ends up being absolutely hilarious.

The operation at the end is light on narration and heavier on building a cool set-up and deliver some nasty, visceral action. It’s here that the fantastic page layouts of this issue are at their finest. Many of the panels in this scene are placed rotated to their side, with some blank space thrown in to extenuate the size and placement of each panel. The more disorderly the panels get, the more the already frantic atmosphere gets more out of control. Aiding this even more is the harshly contrasting colors and sharp, ghoulish pencils. Wes Craig can design and draw the hell out of a comic book.

And Rick Remender sure can write. He doesn’t pull any punches, with loads of horrid language and striking violence. Deadly Class #10 is a train-wreck, but it’s so masterfully and concisely crafted that it’s impossible not to appreciate.

Story: Rick Remender Art: Wes Craig
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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