Deadly Class #35 // Review
Deadly Class #35, by Rick Remender, Wes Craig, Jordan Boyd, and Rus Wooton, brings the latest story arc to a close. Will everyone get out in one piece? Deadly Class has always ended story arcs with a bang, setting the table the table for things to come. How does this one stack up with the others?
Giving a synopsis for this issue is very difficult without giving a lot of spoilers. After the events of last issue, Marcus realizes that trying to kill all the monsters that plague his life isn’t the answer, but forgiving them and walking away is. Petra drives Helmut, Zenzelle, and Tosahwi to the rendezvous point, but they are attacked by Brandi before they get there. Marcus and Maria catch up to the others, but the cops come and open fire, scattering everyone. Marcus and Petra end up together and Marcus forgives her for killing their friend, Billy. Brandi attacks the two of them and is able to escape because Marcus doesn’t help Petra. He knows that deep down, he hasn’t really forgiven her. Quan leads the rest of the Yakuza to the group, but they are saved by a surprise ally. In the end, they are able to escape to Tosahwi’s grandparents’ farm, where they can lick their wounds and plan their next move.
The key to this one is Marcus’ realization in the beginning and how it plays into what happens between him, Petra, and Brandi. The realization that it’s not his job to kill everything that ails his life is a very important one for his character. He entered King’s Dominion to get revenge, and, through the course of the series, has realized that revenge is hollow. It shows growth and maturity. However, that gets thrown out later in the book when he doesn’t help Petra in her fight with Brandi. Marcus realizes that even though he said the words, he doesn’t forgive her and can’t bring himself to help her. He’s grown, sure, but he isn’t all the way there. Sure, in this case, it isn’t him taking revenge, but by sitting back and allowing things to happen, it’s almost the same thing. This is one of those actions that will have far reaching reverberations. Helmut has his suspicions already of what actually happened and this could end very badly between the two of them.
Remender does an admirable job of tying up a lot of the plots that have been in this story arc, delivering a very satisfying conclusion and planting seeds for what’s to come. At some point, they’re going to have to go back to King’s Dominion and also rescue Saya from her Yakuza boss brother, and the events of this issue set that up very nicely. This story has eliminated Viktor as a big adversary for the group--although that’s not as cut and dry as it seemed last issue--but Brandi was able to get away, setting her up to be a continued thorn in Marcus and company’s side. Saya’s brother won’t be too happy to lose so many of his men and blames both Marcus and the Student Council of King’s Dominion for those deaths. A lot of past volumes of Deadly Class ended on a big cliffhanger and this one doesn’t. It ends on a quiet moment, but a quiet moment that is pregnant with the promise of drama to come. In this respect, it’s just as strong as any of the other ones. It sets up what comes next in such an intriguing fashion that readers will be champing at the bit for the next story arc to begin.
Unfortunately, the art in this book is nowhere up to Wes Craig’s usual level. His line work isn’t as crisp as it usually is, and the whole thing looks like a rush job. The coloring also isn’t doing it any favors. There’s so much black everywhere that it makes Craig’s line work look even worse than it already looks, obliterating a lot of the detail. This has been going on for the last few issues, and it’s a sad state of affairs. It was only a few issues ago that Craig was busting out those amazing action sequences with the Yakuza beginning their attack. The last few since have been coming out on a monthly schedule, and that seems like it has hurt the art team a lot. Hopefully, when the book returns from hiatus, the art team will have more time with each issue.
If the art was better, Deadly Class #35 would be one of the best issues of the series so far. It does a lot of important things with Marcus’ character and sets up the future of the comic in a perfect way. Unfortunately, the often ugly artwork mars the whole thing. It’s definitely worth picking up, but it’s not the total package.