Written by Rick Remender
Art by Wesley Craig & Lee Loughridge
Deadly Class is one of the best and most original emerging series of 2014. Superstar writer Rick Remender, who’s widely known for his work on Marvel series such as Punisher, Uncanny X-Force, and Venom, creates a beautifully written and uniquely gorgeous comic. The vast colors used by Loughridge in the 29-page issue succeeds in changing the attitude and scene and moving the story forward with-style. The comic’s cover reminded me of the successful television show Misfits written by comic-writer Howard Overman.
The comic does a great job in introducing the protagonist. Craig’s art highlights Marcus’s state of mind, using multiple-panels and close-ups to illuminate the character’s complex personality. A heist goes down and Marcus is caught in the middle of it all, when a beautiful and deadly, sexy-tattooed assassin swoops in with her samurai sword and crazy aerobic maneuvers, like something out of the movie Wanted. Marcus is a troubled young-man, haunted by death and regret until recruited by Kings Dominion School of the Deadly Arts, where death rules all. An academy of assassins! Honestly, I believe that’s all that needs to be said. Our procrastinator Marcus Lopez, who had found himself only days ago miserable, lonely, cold and hungry in the hostile streets of late-80s San Francisco, has now truly found himself in a state of power.
After Marcus’s parents were killed in an accident involving Barbara Salinger, a suicidal schizophrenic, he was sent to a boy’s-home, where it appears he may have been molested. Marcus has one goal- to kill Ronald Reagan (President Reagan cut funding to mental facilities, resulting in the release of hundreds of mentally ill patients). Remender was able to take real life events and use them to create an atmosphere in which he could tell his story in. In San Francisco in the 1980’s there was a boom in the population of homeless people. Ronald Reagan’s administration had not only cut the funding for mental facilities, but also cut Section 8 housing benefits (low-rent apartments) and there was a wave of changes which made addictive drugs more available.
Although not the best first issue, it really paved the road for where the story would head. The structure of the art may sometimes be hard to follow when the action scenes come in, but as you become more comfortable, it starts to read like a movie. The series appears to have a diverse set of characters which leaves much room for favorites (characters share a punkish-rock theme). This is a must-read!