What better way for a group of kids at a school for assassins to blow off steam than a road trip to Mexico? The new class piles into a car to head south of the border, however it’s not all fun and games. Quan has a secret mission from Saya’s brother, Kenji to track down Marcus Lopez who had faked his death. Meanwhile, the group is going to argue about everything from pop music to race relations.
Writer Rick Remender describes Deadly Class #30 from Image Comics as a “nice bit of calm before the storm” in the letters column. That’s a pretty accurate description. These kids are just that. Kids. Think about what you were doing in high school. Were you juggling life and death situations and worrying if your classmates were going to murder you? Probably not. This is a chance for them to cut loose and be normal teenagers for a little while.
Unfortunately, they’re still teenagers which means they think they know everything. They get into some heated discussions about discrimination, basically arguing over which minority in the car has it worse. Some of this comes across as a bit heavy-handed. The points raised are accurate, however it feels like the characters are preaching.
The argument about music is somewhat a continuation of the one between Petra and Helmut from issue #29. They go over the merits of Slayer and what it means to like a group’s songs once they get popular. It’s not Phonogram-level when it comes to its references.
Wes Craig is one of the best artists working in the industry today and Deadly Class is a perfect example of that. His work never fails to astonish, bringing energy to even the subtlest of scenes. He perfectly brings forth characters’ emotions with a single shot, conveying so much in such a small space. I especially love the little details that go into each panel, like the little circles that whirl around the drunk characters.
The group makes a pit stop at a McDonald’s and it’s like Craig ripped this right from my childhood. The designs are spot on for the time period with the picture of Grimace on the wall. I distinctly remember playing on a playground identical to the one shown, complete with the metal Big Mac jungle gym that would get scalding hot in the sun.
After some light-hearted antics, the issue really picks up with the final pages. Some threads come together in a spectacular fashion and pump up the excitement for the next issue, which Remender promises will be big. I definitely cannot wait.
Deadly Class is consistently good. It’s a strong, character-driven series that pulls you into these kids’ lives to such a great extent that it’s worrisome to think they could be killed at any moment. No one is safe. Wes Craig’s artwork is absolutely beautiful. Each page is like a snapshot of old friends taken directly from your memories.