I’ll be honest: I’ve read nothing about the series and only know a vague synopsis, where it sounds like a much more serious version of Five Weapons, and that it’s written by Rick Remender. What do we have in store? Is it good?
Deadly Class #1 (Image Comics)
Marcus Lopez’s life completely and utterly sucks. When he was young, his family moved to America and his parents were killed by a person who dropped them off a bridge. Years later, he is homeless and doesn’t have a penny to his name. At one point, he considers killing himself because it is so bad, but ultimately decides against it. However, his life is about to change as when the police start chasing him down and he crosses paths with a woman who has the same amount of skin pigment as Batwoman does.
Remember when I said that Protectors, Inc. #1 had basically none of the information its solicit did in the actual issue? Same case here! Of the entire solicit, the only one thing was accurate and that was the fact that Marcus has no money. None of what was mentioned happened and in fact, Marcus only got to the school at the very end of the issue itself. So no real school stuff yet for those people who were hoping they would get to it right away.
Dammit, the only jobs available are for people who regularly shower.
Instead, this issue is merely a setup and character establishing issue. It’s basically about introducing us to Marcus, what his life is like, how it happened, and what kind of character he is. He’s got a good amount of depth to him and plenty of reasons why we should care about him, though there are two things about him that don’t really gel with the story so far. Why does anyone at the school want him to be an assassin? The students seem to see him as being too soft or weak and the master liked the fact that he has shown mercy to others (although one wouldn’t really think mercy is a desirable trait in an assassin). Also, why is Marcus such a big deal that the police will go completely insane in trying to capture him? Seriously, they go nuts and nearly get themselves killed in chases trying to capture him at one point! Nothing in the comic up till then even hinted that he was special or did anything wrong (besides picking pockets), so why all of this insanity? Maybe it’ll be explained later, but it really confused me with their level of viciousness.
Otherwise, the issue does its job well enough. Like I said, it was just about establishing the character and setting things up for the story. We don’t really learn anything about any of the other characters (besides the Snow White girl having a troubled history with her parents) and we don’t know much about the school; I’m sure the next issue will get into that though. The writing is solid with decent pacing and narration, but nothing that really jumps out at you. The story is set in the late 80s, but I’m not sure how accurate it is. I didn’t grow up during that time and I’m not too familiar the trends as well, so besides the references to Ronald Reagan, the story could take place in the 90s for all I know.
I’m hoping to get a pair of glasses so I don’t have to constantly squint.
Wes Craig is on art duties, and to be honest, the penciling and coloring reminds me of the work I saw in Pretty Deadly (amusingly enough, both titles have “Deadly” in them). They are not the same thing of course, but I do get the same vibe looking at this book. The artwork has some good stylish work here with the way he draws people and does his layouts, especially during the more action oriented scenes. It also has a nice splash of colors for the more moody moments and can reflect the turning of the seasons pretty well at times. Probably the best example of the artwork in general is with the flashback scene where Marcus’ parents die with the coloring, the layout, and the emotion of the characters in it. Admittedly, I’m not that big of a fan of the artwork, but I can definitely see how it’ll appeal to people.
Is It Good?
Deadly Class #1 is a solid introduction for the series, though it doesn’t feel like the series has really started yet. It’s all mostly setup for the main character, and for a book called “Class” there’s no real sign of the school until the end. It boasts some solid artwork, some great action, and decent writing; but it isn’t there yet. The next issue though should provide us with the “school” aspect.