No One Ever Said Escaping The Yakuza Was Easy In Deadly Class #37

by James Ferguson

Saya gets a chance to escape from her manipulative brother’s clutches. Funny enough, it’s the guy who put her there that’s going to help as Quan finally grows something resembling a back bone. She needs to do more than just escape though. Saya’s going to have to cut her way through an army of Yakuza if she hopes to make it out of there alive.

It’s amazing to see just how evil Saya’s brother, Kenji is. Deadly Class #37 wastes no time in establishing him as a truly vile human being. He is cocky, confident, and absolutely despicable. Kenji is in celebration mode as he prepares to take over the Yakuza and eliminate his sister in one fell swoop. Like any good villain, he’s taking time to monologue and gloat about his impending victory, which, as we all know, will lead to his downfall.

Much of Kenji’s evil is summed up in a single image of Quan, who has been tortured for some time. He reminds me a bit of Reek from Game of Thrones, forced into a timid persona. He’s also missing a few fingers. Artist Wes Craig shows this perfectly in the first panel Quan appears in. The poor guy is shaking, or rather, trembling as the Yakuza laugh all around him.

Letterer Rus Wooton adds to it with a faded grey font that’s almost imperceptible. You can barely read it on the page, which gives the impression that his voice is like that of a mouse. The word balloon itself is wobbly and insecure.

I love how Craig shows Quan’s jittery nature with these little lines around his arms like he’s constantly shivering. You get the impression that a loud noise or a strong wind would have him rolling into a fetal position and crying on the floor. His face is desperate and pathetic. Given the horrible things he’s done, he does deserve some of what he’s getting, although I don’t know if all of it is warranted.

Things heat up considerably when Quan works to help Saya. Colorist Jordan Boyd highlights the deadly situation she finds herself in. She’s kept in a dungeon of sorts with the darkness shrouding her. Saya’s pale skin makes her look like a ghost peering through the shadows in anger and frustration.

This contrasts well with the wild nature of Kenji’s current party which is full of color and energy. He’s living it up at the club with booze and women. Craig raises the excitement in these sequences with a flurry of dynamic panels that feel like they’re moving at times. His artwork is nothing short of superb as it’s packed with a frenetic quality.

Every page stands out as absolutely stellar, but there’s one segment that really pops. Saya and Quan are escaping on a motorcycle and there’s a number of small panels showing close-ups of their pursuers. This is just part of the action-packed escape. You can imagine a booming soundtrack thundering away as the chase continues.

Deadly Class feels like it’s building up towards something big and bloody. Writer Rick Remender is moving all the players into position with expert precision. This issue is packed with tension and excitement. I let out an audible gasp at one point while reading this book. Deadly Class is a top tier comic that everyone should be reading.

Deadly Class #37 from Image Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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