Facing Down Destiny And Death Itself In Deadly Class #35

by James Ferguson

Marcus stares down the barrel of a gun pointed at his arch-enemy Viktor. This man has killed his best friend, Willie and here’s Marcus’ chance to get his revenge. That means pulling the trigger and going down a path of violence and death that he’s managed to avoid until now. This is how Deadly Class #35 begins and it only gets crazier from there.

Covert art by Wes Craig

The tension is palpable in these opening pages. I was reading this comic with white knuckles as Marcus verbally unloads on Viktor. You can feel the emotion coming through, with Marcus standing bloodied and battered and on the verge of tears. While he’s physically fighting Viktor, he’s figuratively fighting his own destiny. His life has been hectic up until this point, but he’s managed to persevere to find some semblance of happiness with Maria in Mexico. Will he throw all that away to get his vengeance?
Wes Craig continues to prove he’s one of the best artists working in comics today, not only with these first few pages but with the entirety of Deadly Class #35. Each sequence is expertly laid out to draw you in, focusing on the best and most specific details. I love how he bounces between Marcus and Viktor, taking something as simple as a conversation between two men and making it a thrilling roller coaster ride of emotion.

Colorist Jordan Boyd amplifies this scene with a perfect mix of darkness and yellow moonlight reflecting off the water’s surface. It makes the blood sliding down their faces look dark and gritty. This has an exploitation era feel to it, particularly with all that blood.
So, everything I’ve told you about so far was in the first six pages. Deadly Class #35 is an over-sized issue, and wrapped up the four-part “Love Like Blood” arc. Writer Rick Remender packs it full of story making it more than worth the cover price. We see how the other Kings Dominion students get out of this tense standoff with the Yakuza, Mexican police, and Brandy, and so much more.

The bulk of this issue is filled with action and this is where Craig really excels. At times it feels like the images are moving across the page. They flow so well together. I love when he focuses in on a specific character, letting the emotion they’re going through sink in for an extra moment so you really get an idea of what’s in their head, even if they’re not saying it outright. Then after a quiet second like that, where you might have caught your breath, the rug is ripped out from under you.
Marcus’ internal narration is peppered throughout the issue. It’s presented on its own and not within a box. This is great choice by letterer Rus Wooten, as it makes these words stand out against Craig’s incredible work, like small captions to these powerful images.

I audibly gasped multiple times while reading Deadly Class #35. There are several shocking moments that I did not see coming. You have to remember that no one is safe in this series. We’ve seen that time and time again. Granted, some of the deaths have been faked, but they were no less meaningful. This chapter is full of images that will make your jaw drop and will likely make you tear up. Deadly Class remains one of the absolute best comics on the stands today.
Deadly Class #35 from Image Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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