A punchy, well-written action/drama/adventure story about a school of assassins… on a trip.
An acid trip. Sure sounds fun, but is it good?
Deadly Class #5 (Image Comics)
While the first four issues have spent a lot of time plotting (not that that’s a bad thing) this issue is the first time we get a really great character study and psychological profiling of Marcus. He’s a very unique and interesting character in many ways. He’s by no means helpless, he can defend himself pretty well physically, but he is sort of prone to getting jostled around a lot. And he is SERIOUSLY jostled around after he runs rampant through a hotel while on a serious high.
There’s a very interesting narration to this issue that is a mix of heavy exposition and crazed inner monologue. Through this format of narration we learn a lot about his past and who he is and where he came from, but we also learn about how he deals with split-second decisions when he is handicapped which also speaks volumes about his character.
Of all the disastrous little sequences: him killing his friends dad, his run-in with the casino owner, even the beat-down at the end, I liked the page where Marcus was falling from the window the best. He wrestles with how sleeping with one girl would ruin his chances with another girl, but the first girl is willing and he’s tempted. He also feels regret and compassion for the girl he just abandoned as she fights her ex-boyfriend. It’s a great page that shows some of Marcus’s inner turmoil as he has to navigate the challenges of being a teenager and in such a dire situation. It shows how this series takes on both the hyper-violent, unrealistic quality of a comic, but also the almost semi-autobiographical element that Rick Remender is trying to get through.
I’ve never been on an acid trip, and judging by this comic’s visuals, I don’t think I want to ever. That’s not to say the art is by any means bad; it’s fantastic, it just shows how much Marcus is hallucinating and how reality really seems to bend around him. The bright colors, the cutting action, the sprays of blood; everything just mixes together into one ethereal, crazy ride. Another great aspect of this comic, which comes through in the beat-down at the end in particular, is how well the artist and letterer work together to make really intense effects that make the pages come to life. The KRAKS and BOOMS really add to the artistic value instead of cramming up the pages.
Is It Good?
I daresay this is the best chapter of Deadly Class so far, and Deadly Class is pretty damned good. I can’t wait to see where this story goes next!