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Review: Deadly Class #45

Deadly Class #45

Even though it’s been several years since his trauma-filled days as a pretentious douchebag at King’s Dominion Atelier for the Deadly Arts, Marcus Lopez Arguello is still full of shit, literally and metaphorically in Deadly Class #45. The new arc of Rick Remender, Wes Craig, and Lee Loughridge’s teen assassin comic picks up in 1991, and you can be sure that Marcus has some unsolicited opinions about grunge music that ends up taking too much of the comic’s running time. However, he meets/grooms a girl named Dawn, who deconstructs his opinions and mansplaining and of course, they end up hooking up. I’m really ready for Marcus/the comic to be put out of its misery.

However, before talking about how insufferable Marcus is, and how I smile at his shitty existence reading Matt Groening comics in a bathroom and telling uninterested girls about the difference between geek and nerd, I have something positive to say about Deadly Class #45. And that’s even though the book has gone by the wayside by deciding to focus on its very unlikable protagonist instead of a diverse ensemble cast like in its previous arc, Wes Craig and Lee Loughridge bring their A-game on the visuals.

Craig’s cut-up panels and Loughridge’s red and black against insets of Marcus’ morning routine show up his fucked up mental state, and why he ends up getting an enema. One thing I’ve loved about Wes Craig’s art on Deadly Class is how he uses different inking styles to convey different moods like lush brush strokes for Marcus and Dawn kind of to the chaotic slinging of the issue’s climax where he becomes John Wick sponsored by Pitchfork.com. Loughridge’s palette gets dirtier during this scene going from flat background colors for Marcus’ new suburban digs to something with a little more edge as befitting a protagonist covered in a blood with an enema up his ass.

Despite Craig and Loughridge firing on all cylinders, Deadly Class #45 is a slog to get through because even after 45 issues of trials and tribulations, he’s really an insufferable character. I miss when he wanted to assassinate Ronald Reagan. Unlike most real life annoying nerds/hipsters, he’s definitely had a rough life, but his treatment of women and propensity for never shutting the hell up makes him a character that I don’t want to spend a lot of time around. In past issues of Deadly Class, Rick Remender got around this by surrounding him with an interesting ensemble cast of characters. However, no one except Dawn even rates a second glance in Deadly Class #45, and they’re all kids who want to party with his drugs, an annoying boss, or people who want him dead. When Marcus was “dead” for an arc, Remender and Wes Craig did an excellent job creating a new cast of King’s Dominion students to replace him as the series’ lead, and the book could really use some of that magic now.

Because there’s so much dialogue and overwrought narrative captions, Deadly Class #45 never gets to settle into Marcus’ emotional state during the time skip. Ennui isn’t really visually interesting, but Remender only works in long one-sided conversations, broad humor, and bold action. (The third one is fine.) He’s too busy catching up readers on Marcus’ opinions of different bands and driving the point home that he’s an outsider even though he likes Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man. Throughout Deadly Class, Remender and Craig have used bands and fashion as a kind of verbal and visual shorthand to introduce characters before really getting to know them via their choices, schemes, and how they interact with others. But Marcus is the protagonist so maybe we should have gone beyond that. His interactions with Dawn and general apathy has shown that he hasn’t grown much as a character and honestly regressed since the early days of Deadly Class.

Although Wes Craig and Lee Loughridge continue to bring the stylish visuals that drew me to Deadly Class way back in 2014, Deadly Class #45 is basically mansplaining the comic and squanders its new setting and status quo. It’s definitely not a good jumping on point and made me realize I’m only following the title because of sunk cost fallacy.

Story: Rick Remender Art: Wes Craig
Colors: Lee Loughridge Letters: Rus Wooton

Story: 5.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 5.8 Recommendation: Pass

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Superman: Red and Blue #1

Superman: Red and Blue #1

I’ll admit it, Superman isn’t the most exciting character to me. I find he’s one that runs hot or cold with little in-between. There’s been great stories and great runs but he’s generally not a character I get excited to read about. But, I love anthologies. So, getting to sit down with Superman: Red and Blue #1 to see what such varied creators would do had me intrigued. And, I was not disappointed. This is another homerun of an anthology for DC Comics, and one the delivers an emotional punch.

Superman: Red and Blue #1 features such varied talent as John Ridley, Brandon Easton, Wes Craig, Dan Watters, and Marguerite Bennett on writing. Clayton Henry, Steve Lieber, Wes Craig, Jill Thompson, and Dani provide the art. Jordie Bellaire, Ron Chan handle some of the colors, while Dave Sharpe, Clayton Cowles, and Troy Peteri handle the lettering. I wanted to give the creators behind this their due because it’s a hell of an anthology. Every story is fantastic. The art is top-notch. The colors are used amazingly well, and the lettering is tight. This is a comic that knocks it out of the park.

But, what surprised me the most about Superman: Red and Blue #1 is how much it got to me. It’s stories made me think and delivered a bit of a punch. It’s impressive. Really impressive. DC has let their creators do what they do and it appears without fear. The stories range from lessons about childhood friendship, to condemnations of capitalism. There’s a story that tackles the failures of DC’s heroes (like Superman) from stopping the drug trade making them complicit in the deaths due to it. And, there’s a story of inspiration. Each story has highs and lows and are so unique with something to say about the character or what he represents. It’s an inspiring and thought-provoking comic.

Superman: Red and Blue #1 continues DC’s sparsely colored comics focused on red and blue like the title says. There’s also whites, blacks, and some gray thrown in but the various stories look beautiful and varied in their styles. There’s also a brilliant comic focused on colors themselves delivering a dive into what each represents.

The anthology is an inspiring endeavor and sets up such a high bar for what’s to follow. I went in knowing Superman: Red and Blue #1 was full of talent but how daring some of these stories are was not expected. To finish reading some of them a little choked up was

Story: John Ridley, Brandon Easton, Wes Craig, Dan Watters, Marguerite Bennett
Art: Clayton Henry, Steve Lieber, Wes Craig, Jill Thompson, Dani
Color: Jordie Bellaire, Ron Chan
Letterer: Dave Sharpe, Clayton Cowles, Troy Peteri
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Superman: Red & Blue #1

Superman: Red & Blue #1

Written by: Marguerite Bennett, Dan Watters, Wes Craig, Brandon Easton, John Ridley
Art by: Jill Thompson, Wes Craig, Steve Lieber, Clayton Henry

This new series presents fresh new visions of the Man of Steel in his two signature colors of red and blue! Around the world, everyone knows that when they see a red and blue streak in the sky, it’s not a bird…it’s not a plane…it’s Superman.

To start things off, Academy Award-winning writer of Future State: The Next Batman John Ridley joins artist Clayton Henry (Batman/Superman) to tell a story of Clark Kent as he confronts a villain who still haunts him, in a story that shows what Superman can mean to a whole country. Then, Brandon Easton (DC Future State’s “Mister Miracle”) and Steve Lieber (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen) take readers to the streets of Metropolis to show how one hero can mean so much to an individual in pain. Plus, writer/artist Wes Craig (Deadly Class) tells a tale of Superman’s early days and the man who inspired him to become the hero he is today! And Marguerite Bennett (Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman) and artist Jill Thompson give us a tale of teenage Clark Kent, while Dan Watters and Dani, the team behind Coffin Bound, bring us an outlandish fable about what happens when all colors are stolen!

Superman: Red & Blue #1

Superman Takes Off in 2021 with a New Anthology, Superman: Red & Blue

In the spirit of DC’s iconic Eisner Award-winning Batman: Black & White anthology series, DC has announced Superman: Red & Blue, a new six-issue DC comic book mini-series presenting fresh new visions of the Man of Steel, featuring an incredible slate of comics’ most exciting and innovative storytellers creating comics pared back to Superman’s two signature colors of red and blue (magenta and cyan for the color nerds)!

Around the world, everyone knows that when they see a red and blue streak in the sky, it’s not a bird…it’s not a plane…it’s Superman!

To start things off in March’s Superman: Red & Blue #1, Academy Award-winning writer of DC Future State: The Next Batman John Ridley joins artist Clayton Henry to tell a story of Clark Kent as he confronts a villain who still haunts him, in a story that shows what Superman can mean to a whole country. Then, Brandon Easton and Steve Lieber take readers to the streets of Metropolis to show how one hero can mean so much to an individual in pain.

Plus, writer/artist Wes Craig tells a tale of Superman’s early days and the man who inspired him to become the hero he is today! And Marguerite Bennett and artist Jill Thompson give us a tale of teenage Clark Kent, while Dan Watters and Dani, the team behind Coffin Bound, bring an outlandish fable about what happens when all colors are stolen!

Superman: Red & Blue #1 (of 6), featuring 40 pages of stories by Marguerite Bennett, Wes Craig, Dani, Brandon Easton, Clayton Henry, Steve Lieber, John Ridley, Jill Thompson and Dan Watters, retails at $5.99 with a cover by Gary Frank and variant covers by Lee Bermejo and Yoshitaka AmanoSuperman: Red & Blue will ship monthly beginning on March 9 in DC’s Prestige Format binding.

Rick Remender Introduces The Scumbag this October

New York Times bestselling writer, showrunner, and terrific disco dancer Rick Remender launches an all-new comedy espionage series The Scumbag from Image Comics, set to hit shelves this October. This new ongoing series will feature a murderers’ row of all-star artistic talent rotating each issue. The first issue showcases the stunning work of Lewis LaRosa with subsequent chapters and covers by brilliant talents such as Andrew Robinson, Eric Powell, Tula Lotay, Wes Craig, Roland Boschi, Simone Di Meo, Duncan Fegredo, Yanick Paquette, Mike McKone, Dave Johnson, and Moreno Dinisio.

The Scumbag is the story of Ernie Ray Clementine, a profane, illiterate, drug addicted, biker, with a fifth-grade education and the only thing standing between us and total Armageddon because this dummy accidentally received a power-imbuing serum making him the world’s most powerful super spy.

Ernie is a relic of a bygone era, the living embodiment of sex, drugs, and rock and roll—so, this doesn’t make things easy for the spy organization that needs his help as they bribe, cajole, and manipulate Ernie to choose between his own self-interests and doing what’s right.

The Scumbag #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 21st.

The Scumbag #1

TV Review: Deadly Class S1E1 Pilot

Deadly SyFy

A disillusioned teen finds purpose and fights for survival at an elite academy for the Deadly Arts.

The latest comic adaptation to come to the screen is here as the much beloved and praised Deadly Class has officially debuted on SyFy.

Based on the comic series by Rick Remender with art by both Lee Loughridge and Wes Craig and published by Image Comics, the series focuses on a school that teaches kids to be the next generation of assassins.

Set in the 80s, there’s a lot taken from tropes of the time and a soundtrack that’ll take you back the 30+ years. As it’s set in high school, there’s the usual cliques and lots of references to the socio-political situation of the time.

The pilot is a slick debut that belies the fact it’s on SyFy, a channel I don’t usually associate with quality. Great looking, solid direction, and some animation thrown in, the pilot is a debut that immerses you into the world introducing you to it as it introduces our initial main character Marcus, played by Benjamin Wadsworth.

And this show is very much about the characters. This is an ensemble show featuring Benedict Wong, Lana Condor, Henry Rollins, and so many more. And the show nails the characters. Their tone, their look, it all feels like the comic come to life. Deadly Class is one of the finest comic adaptations to have come out on multiple levels.

The show knows its strength in the material with Remender involved that’s not surprising. There’s a certain cool about it all, not that we haven’t seen parts of this story elsewhere. Still, this combination, this world, is something interesting and to see it live and breathe on the small screen is pretty impressive. Here’s hoping what follows the pilot keeps it up and can deliver on what this initial episode promises.

Overall Rating: 9.0

Watch the First Episode of Deadly Class Now

Deadly Class, the new show based on the comic series by Rick Remender with art (mostly) by Wes Craig, doesn’t debut on television until January 16 but SyFy has it so you can watch now!

Deadly Class follows a disillusioned teen recruited into a storied high school for assassins. Maintaining his moral code while navigating a ruthless curriculum, vicious social cliques, and his own adolescent uncertainties may prove fatal. Set against the backdrop of late 80s counter culture, Deadly Class is a coming of age story unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Based on the smash hit comic series of the same name by Rick Remender.

Catch the premiere now below and you can tune in starting January 16 at 10/9c on SyFy.

SyFy’s Deadly Class Gets a New Trailer and Art

Set in a dark, heightened world against the backdrop of late ‘80s counterculture, Deadly Class follows the story of Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth), a teen living on the streets who is recruited into Kings Dominion, an elite private academy where the world’s top crime families send their next generations. Maintaining his moral code while surviving a ruthless curriculum, vicious social cliques and his own adolescent uncertainties soon proves to be vital. Based on the best-selling Image Comics comic series by Rick Remender and Wes Craig, Deadly Class is a coming-of-age journey full of ancient mystery and teen angst.

Deadly Class stars Wadsworth (“Teen Wolf”), Benedict Wong (“Doctor Strange,” “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams”), Lana Condor (“’To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”), María Gabriela de Faría (“Yo Soy Franky,” “Sitiados”), Luke Tennie (“Shock and Awe”), Liam James (“The Way Way Back,” “The Killing”), and Michel Duval (“Señora Acero,” QUEEN OF THE SOUTH).

NYCC 2018: Deadly Class Gets a Premiere Date and New Promo

At New York Comic Con, SyFy revealed the premiere date for Deadly Class. The show will debut Wednesday, January 16 at 10/9c.

Set in a dark, heightened world against the backdrop of late 80s counter culture, Deadly Class follows the story of Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth), a teen living on the streets who is recruited into Kings Dominion, an elite private academy where the world’s top crime families send their next generations. Maintaining his moral code while surviving a ruthless curriculum, vicious social cliques and his own adolescent uncertainties soon proves to be vital. Based on the best-selling 2014 Image Comics graphic novel by Rick Remender and Wes Craig, Deadly Class is a coming of age journey full of ancient mystery and teen angst.

Deadly Class stars Benedict Wong (“Doctor Strange,” “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams”), Wadsworth (“Teen Wolf”), Lana Condor (“’To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”), María Gabriela de Faría (“Yo Soy Franky,” “Sitiados”), Luke Tennie (“Shock and Awe”), Liam James (“The Way Way Back,” “The Killing”), and Michel Duval (“Señora Acero,” QUEEN OF THE SOUTH).

From Sony Pictures Television and Universal Cable Productions (UCP), Deadly Class was adapted for television by Remender and Miles Orion Feldsott, who serve as executive producers alongside Joe Russo (“Avengers: Infinity War,” “Captain America: Civil War”), Anthony Russo (“Avengers: Infinity War,” “Captain America: Civil War”), Mike Larocca (“Spy”) and Mick Betancourt (USA Network’s THE PURGE, “Shots Fired”). Remender, Feldsott and Betancourt share showrunner duties on the series.

Deadly Class’ Second Hardcover is Out in October

Image Comics has announced that issues #17-31 of the bestselling series Deadly Class by Rick Remender and Wes Craig will be collected into a massive hardcover deluxe edition available this October.

Deadly Class Deluxe Edition, Boom Two: The Funeral Party collects story arcs four through six of the ongoing, darkly humorous drama centered around the lives of ‘80s teens training in a secret academy to either become assassins or stand up and become humans.

Deadly Class Deluxe Edition, Boom Two: The Funeral Party (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0841-1, Diamond Code: JAN188510) will hit comic book stores on Wednesday, October 10th and bookstores on Tuesday, October 16th. The final order cutoff deadline for comic book stores is Monday, August 6th.

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