Deadly Class #40 Shows How You Fight A Death Cult

by James Ferguson

The emotional reunion between Saya and Maria is cut short when they’re attacked by Kenji’s forces. Master Lin has something to say about Saya’s return. Meanwhile, Helmut heads out to avenge his love Petra by taking down the death cult where she grew up, but he finds some unexpected obstacles along the way.

There are so many levels of awesomeness in Deadly Class. When I sat down to write this review, I almost forgot that the impressive and lengthy fight scene that opens this issue was in this chapter or in a previous one. That’s how much is packed into Deadly Class #40.

And what a fight scene it is! Artist Wes Craig always delivers some brilliant work and this sequence is more of the top notch, kinetic energy that has come to define Deadly Class. There are times you’ll swear the characters are moving on the page. Part of the excitement comes in how Craig weaves the sound effects into the images, often weaving them around the characters or pulling them in organically, like they’re an extension of the artwork. If they were to pop out in real life, they would look natural in this world.

Craig’s talent for fight choreography is unparalleled. You can spend hours pouring over these pages and still discover more details. They move like the best blockbuster action movies but without the quick cuts that could make you dizzy. Instead, they’re focused and deliberate, allowing you to feel every sickening blow and deadly attack.

Zenzele narrates this sequence and she plays a big part in the battle. There’s a point where her darker side comes out and letterer Rus Wooton showcases this brilliantly. Her speech changes from the normal word balloons to ones tinged with dark red. The font changes as well, hinting at the monster lurking within.

While I love the original characters in Deadly Class, the new group has definitely rose to the top too. It’s no easy task to introduce all new characters so far into a series run and have them stand out like these folks do. Writer Rick Remender has done some great development to tie us to them as readers and the original group to them through the various storylines running.

That brings us to Helmut, the sweet metalhead with a battle ax. I wasn’t sure where this was going to go and it was certainly eye opening. There are some abrupt shifts in tone along Helmut’s journey and colorist Jordan Boyd controls these like pulling levers. We find ourselves in a quaint American town with the sun shining down from above casting a bright yellow light on everything. That is quickly replaced by looming shadows and pure terror.

Helmut’s quest for revenge is far from over and it will likely bring him face-to-face with Marcus. The unpredictable nature of Deadly Class is at play here and I’m so pumped. There are few comics on the stands today as exciting and riveting as Deadly Class. Every issue will leave you with your jaw on the floor and this one is no different.

Deadly Class #40 from Image Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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