Written by Rick Remender
Art by Wes Craig
Colors by Jordan Boyd
Freshman year is hard. Sometimes you get hazed, sometimes you get killed. For our students at King’s Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts, finals week will be the death of them.
Deadly Class #18 starts as part two of our Die for Me arc. Freshman finals is into full swing and the legacy students have one mission, kill the “rats”. The rats in this case are the unaffiliated kids who aren’t a legacy pledge. Our hero, Marcus, is one of the rats. His former roommate, Shabnam is taking advantage of this situation to get rid of everyone who’s wronged him this year. He knew these finals were coming up (his father broke his vows and told him), so he’s gathered dirt on everyone to make them do his killing for him.
There are a lot of funny and action packed moments in this book. We get a kid who no one remembers but he claims he’s been there the whole time (in a red shirt) named Pauly. We get a hilarious moment where the rest of the kids don’t want to be near him because they know the red shirts die first. Marcus is convinced to help Red Shirt out because they are all odd men out now and they need the numbers. We get two panels of Shabnam looking out the window as the narrative prose tells how his plan worked and how he’s going to get what he wants now. This is a great, and funny, moment where our antagonist is revealed. He’s been right in front of us this whole time.
The art in Deadly Class is breathtaking. The colors pop on each panel and the panel layouts are very unique. We sometimes get text outside of speech bubbles in prose form, which I enjoy. I’m not sure who is on inking duty, if that’s Craig or Boyd, but the inking in this book is amazing. A book’s inker is usually forgotten unless the inking is bad and noticeable. The inking in this book is amazing. We get a four panel progression later on that only changes in two ways: it zooms in on the character and the inking gets more aggressive. The inking on the character’s face is enough to make the character more menacing as the panels progress.
Remender really has his best book here. His other books are great too (Tokyo Ghost, Black Science), but this book’s unique way of showing how kids deal with loss, school, and growing up really sets it apart from the other books. Craig and Boyd’s art really doesn’t look like anything else on the stands today and that’s a good thing. Deadly Class #18 is a great second part to an already fantastic arc.
Marvin’s Rating – 9/10