Saturday 25 January 2014

Deadly Class #1 Review

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Wes Craig

How will life change for Marcus Lopez once he is scouted by a school of assassins? Read on to find out.

The official description from Image:

It’s 1987. Marcus Lopez hates school. His grades suck. He has no money. The jocks are hassling his friends. He can't focus in class, thanks to his mind constantly drifting to the stunning girl in the front row and the Dag Nasty show he has tickets to. But the jocks are the children of Joseph Stalin's top assassin, the teachers are members of an ancient league of assassins, the class he’s failing is "Dismemberment 101," and his crush, a member of the most notorious crime syndicate in Japan, has a double-digit body count.

Welcome to the most brutal high school on Earth, where the world’s top crime families send the next generation of assassins to be trained. Murder is an art. Killing is a craft. At King’s Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts, the dagger in your back isn’t always metaphorical, nor is your fellow classmates' poison. 

Rick Remender is in my opinion one of the best writers working in comics at the moment, with most of his work being good if not awesome. I have however never read any of his creator-owned work, having missed Black Science so far. That however changes here, and boy am I glad it has.

Remender takes a very serious story about a kid who's homeless for the better part of a year, and turns it into a story featuring a school training kids to become assassins. Now you'd think that the later part would be the best part of the issue, and although this may be the case for the series future, it was the realistic nature of Marcus' time on the streets that interested me the most, with Remender making Marcus a very likeable and relatable character. Remender also added a lot of excitement to this issue as well, with the later half being very explosive.

Wes Craig's artwork was simply outstanding, with the layouts giving a lot of depth and tone to Remender's script. Craig also showed the pure essence of the story brilliantly, with his art making you feel more for Marcus, with it being clear just what he’s feeling. The best part about Craig’s artwork (besides the layouts) was the way he handled the action throughout the second half, as he managed to show the panic feeling that Marcus had whilst also showing the intense nature of the situation he was in. On top of this Lee Loughridge’s colours were also fantastic, giving the perfect overtone and finish to both the story and the art.

Deadly Class has opened with a bang and I for one can't wait to see what happens next, and how Marcus will handle the change from homelessness to student of deadly arts. Highly recommended.

Rating: 10/10

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