Adrienne Fox

“Deadly Class #1″ Doesn’t Miss the Mark!

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Deadly Class #1 is killer! Remender and Craig’s creator-owned series is not to be missed. Like all great assassins, these guys don’t miss a mark. From story to design, this book has it all.

Deadly Class #1 from imagecomics.com

Deadly Class #1 from imagecomics.com

Deadly Class #1
Story: Rick Remender
Art: Wes Craig
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: January 22, 2014

Meet Marcus. He is living on the streets of San Francisco in 1987. He is invisible to general population. Yet, someone is watching him closely and she has big plans for him. “Deadly Class #1″ hooks the reader with character development and just gets better with fantastic art, sophisticated colors, and eye-catching design.

The book opens with Marcus on streets and begging for money while trying to keep a positive mental attitude. Person after person passes him by, except for the one prick that hands him the newspaper classifieds. His situation is dire. Through his internal dialog, Marcus shares memories from his past at the home for wayward boys, the hypocritical religion classes, and the fate of his parents. He scuffles with another older homeless man who tries to steal his shoes and other possessions—only to give away his shoes to guy who is worse off than himself. Marcus is not dead inside, yet. However, he knows that to continue on this path means his future will be the same as the shoeless man he just encountered. It is a heavy burden to bear. Remembering wise words of his father, Marcus lives on, and stays as positive as he can. Until one day when his world is turned upside-down by an attempt on his life and a surprising rescue. How will acceptance into a group of assassins change him? It is thrive or die time for Marcus.

I love, love, love, this book. Remender’s use of internal dialog sucked me into the story connected me to Marcus immediately. I feel invested. I want to know what happens. Not only that, but the choice to set the story in 1987 allows for exploration of social and political issues, which paint a holistic picture of Marcus’ world—and Remender is deft at doing so.

Craig’s art here is spot on. It has a slightly 1980s feel to it, but is it clear and you know what you are looking at. The visual clues in body language and costume details add depth to the story. Craig captures movement so well. Check out the dancer in the Day of the Dead celebration! You might not know that yesterday was Colorist Appreciation Day in the comic world. Loughridge is called out in The Beat’s round-up of great colorists. It’s totally deserved. His colors on “Deadly Class #1″ are a cut above.

Recommendation: For readers who also like Wanted, Thief of Thieves, or enjoy the ensemble cast to one single superhero (because it looks like that is where this is going).

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