January 21, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: Deadly Class Volume 1

A school for young assassins takes in a new student in 1980s San Francisco.

Jenny loves the work of Rick Remender.  The SyFy Channel has been promoting the hell out of their TV adaptation of his Image Comics series Deadly Class.

Well, I’ve had the trade for the first volume of the series, subtitled Reagan Youth, for a while now.  Let’s take a look.

Marcus Lopez is a young homeless teen living in 1987 San Francisco.  He’s originally from Nicaragua, and his living in America and the death of his parents can both be traced to policies of the Reagan Administration.  He had a violent incident in his past that this volume mostly only hints at.  Because of that, the police are looking for him.  So, when a Japanese girl his age shows up to skewers a cop to save his life, well, his life is bound to change.  Enter Master Lin with an opportunity.  He runs a special high school…to train assassins.  And yeah, that does sound better to Marcus than living on the streets until the cops kill him.

What follows is partly a high school drama, complete with cliques and romantic triangles, and another part a psychological drama.  Marcus goes out on an assignment with a classmate at one point, and the conversation the two have about what friendship means, how to maintain a rep, and both boys’ histories up until that point.  That may be on the nicest moments in the entire book in terms of writing.  For Wes Craig’s artwork, the highlight is probably a drug trip Marcus goes through during an ill-advised trip to Vegas.  All that said, I’m not sure where Remender and Craig are going with all of this, and when the reader finally gets an introduction at the volume’s end to the guy who’s been following Marcus almost from the beginning, it is a bit difficult to see why this particular guy might be a threat to the students at an assassination school, but there ya go.  Anyway, I may go for another at some point, especially since this may be the best book I’ve ever read from Remender.  8.5 out of 10 deadly fans.

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