Deadly Class #36 // Review
Marcus comes to a big decision in Deadly Class #36, by writer Rick Remender, artist Wes Craig, colorist Jordan Boyd, and letterer Rus Wooton. While the decision is one that fans of the book saw coming miles away, the issue takes a novel approach to getting there, even is it does rip off a trope that Grant Morrison has used much more effectively.
In what seems like a dream sequence, Marcus combs his memories, talking to his dead friends and lovers, trying to figure out what to next. Should he run off and start a new life with Maria or should he go back to King’s Dominion and take his revenge? It’s revealed that he and the other survivors are on a peyote trip on Tosahwi’s grandfather’s farm and he wandered off, but he’s come his trip has led him to where he needs to be and he decides what the group should do next.
The most clever thing about this issue is that readers won’t really know it’s a drug trip until the end of the issue. At first, it seems like a rather standard dream sequence, with Marcus running through the wasteland that his life has become, encountering the living and the dead in their worst guises. The problem with the whole thing is that it’s much too cut and dried. The revelatory drug trip is a tried and true fictional device and Grant Morrison has used it multiple times to massive effect. Remender tries it here and while it does work for the plot, it feels a bit too tropey.
What really makes the sequence work is Wes Craig and Jordan Boyd. Their art really sells what the script is trying to get across. Craig’s pencils started to suffer a bit as the last arc went on, but here he seems creatively refreshed. His line work and detail are perfect for the trippy visuals without getting too cliche and Boyd’s colors give the whole thing the added dimension it needs. Without this art team, this whole plot device would have been a lot worse. They ground it while also giving it the visual flair it deserves.
The decision Marcus makes at the end of the book has been telegraphed for a long time now, but it’s the one that’s most exciting for the readers. Marcus and company have a lot of unfinished business and it will be great to see how it all plays out. This book also reminds readers that Marcus allowed Petra to die and that Helmut was in love with her. This could spell some very bad things going down the line, but it adds a nice x-factor into the mix.
Deadly Class #36 gets a little tropey and the ending is predictable, but the great art and some interesting character development keep it from being a waste of time. It’s a good comic that suffers a little bit on the execution of the reveal from a script standpoint, but more than makes up for it in other ways. It sets the stage for a lot of action to come, though, and that makes up for a lot.