Monday, 3 February 2014

Dave's Reviews: Deadly Class #1

Dave's Quick and Easy Reviews:
Deadly Class #1
By Rick Remender and Wesley Craig


It’s 1987. Marcus Lopez hates school. His grades suck. He has no money. The jocks are hassling his friends. He can't focus in class, thanks to his mind constantly drifting to the stunning girl in the front row and the Dag Nasty show he has tickets to. But the jocks are the children of Joseph Stalin's top assassin, the teachers are members of an ancient league of assassins, the class he’s failing is "Dismemberment 101," and his crush, a member of the most notorious crime syndicate in Japan, has a double-digit body count.
Welcome to the most brutal high school on Earth, where the world’s top crime families send the next generation of assassins to be trained. Murder is an art. Killing is a craft. At King’s Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts, the dagger in your back isn’t always metaphorical, nor is your fellow classmates' poison. 
Join writer RICK REMENDER with rising star WESLEY CRAIG (Batman) and legendary colourist LEE LOUGHRIDGE (Fear Agent) to reminisce about the mid-1980s underground through the eyes of the most damaged and dangerous teenagers on Earth.

I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting to like this comic at all.  While I've enjoyed some of Remender's work in the past, I find what he's currently doing at Marvel in Captain America and especially Uncanny Avengers rather infuriating, and didn't have much faith his new title would raise my opinion of him. So naturally I was pleasantly surprised when this first issue turned out to be pretty great. :)  While a school for teenage assassins certainly isn't an original idea for a story, the setting of a consciously nostalgic past along with Craig's atypical, 
dynamic art style give it an unusual, captivating edge.  
The first issue introduces the central mystery of not only the secretive academy for assassins, but of the enigmatic protagonist as well, and discovering his secrets is definitely one of the main reasons why I want to continue reading this series. I've seen comparisons of this series online to The Breakfast Club - 'but with more death' - and while only time will tell if Deadly Class will hold up as well as the John Hughes film classic, I'm confident this is only the beginning of a very rewarding and exciting new series.

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