We knew that the outcasts from the freshmen class at King’s Dominion were on a road trip, but we didn’t know why. It turns out they’re kind of on the run after causing a small riot at a pep rally that peaked with acid being thrown in someone’s face. Running into the presumed-dead Marcus and Maria makes this a pretty crazy trip. Unfortunately for all involved, there are a whole bunch of people hunting them down and things are going to get pretty gruesome soon.
Until all that happens, these kids are able to relax and do what unsupervised young adults do. In their case, that involves drugs, booze, and sex. It’s a strange, playful scene, like it’s the last time any of them can be truly happy. They’re able to forget all of life’s problems and just live in the moment. For one night they’re able to let loose and not worry about someone trying to kill them.
Although these characters were all students at a school for assassins, there’s a softness to them. They long for a childhood they can never have again or perhaps have never had at all. This makes the villains appear so much more terrifying. They’re like evil personified and they’re absolutely ruthless.
Artist Wes Craig frames this scene beautifully. As the drugs kick in, the images get wavier. Jordan Boyd’s colors swirl around them in purples and pinks. This is a party and it’s going to get crazy. There are larger images of some of them making love in the background while the foreground is full of close-ups of some of the others talking, literally right next to them. It gives the feeling of energy, and life, and youthful exuberance.
Deadly Class #31 is book-ended by two incredible scenes packed with action. Craig breaks these up so well, guiding your eye to key details with dynamic panel layouts and frenetic imagery. The first part is the riot at the school which is shown in several pages of small images, each highlighting a different aspect of the violence. There is so much to see here with so many details. This is a sequence you can pore over for hours to soak everything in.
The intensity in Craig’s artwork is second to none. I found my hands instinctively clenching as I was reading the riot scene, hoping my favorite characters would make it out unscathed. If this were a movie, there would be a fast punk song playing as the action played out. This contrasts nicely to the laid back scenes in Mexico with Marcus and Maria as the kids kick back and relax for a bit.
I said this issue was book-ended with two action-packed scenes. I’m not going to spoil the final pages, but suffice it to say that it’s a more personal ramp up to a finale. The comic ended and I just said “Damn” because it’s one hell of a cliffhanger. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait four long months to see what happens next.
Deadly Class is one of the best books on the stands today. It never fails to deliver. Writer Rick Remender packs every scene full of important detail and character development. Over the course of the series, these characters have become real people and I am so plugged into their lives. This issue is the latest culmination of everything that came before it and I hope to see it go on for many more.