Deadly Class is back in session. Let’s see if things can get any deadlier or classier, and if the main character actually become likeable. Either way, is it good?
Deadly Class #4 (Image Comics)
After killing an “underserving man” in the eyes of the school, Marcus is tossed into solitary confinement to reflect on all the wrong he did. However, Saya and Willie break out of the confinement and invite him on a big road trip to Los Vegas, since no one will notice he is missing (I personally don’t get how they won’t notice he’s missing since they technically still need to feed and give him to water in order to survive, but whatever). The goals for the road trip are simple: Buy some mean drugs, get messed up, and kill another student named Billy’s deadbeat father.
So taking coke turns you into a valley girl? Well alright then.
The more I read Deadly Class, the more indifferent I feel to it. I criticized the book last issue for having an unlikeable protagonist in the form of Marcus and continuing with this issue, I still don’t find much reason to like or root for him. He still has this jerk attitude and also has a dash of stupidity tossed in, with nothing redeemable or interesting to make up for it. Then there’s the rest of the characters, who are not particularly likeable (excluding Willie) or even all that interesting (possibly exclusing Saya, but we don’t know much about her). While the interactions between the characters can certainly be amusing or giving them a bit more depth, they are not really the kind of characters you would end up wanting to see succeed or even survive for the most part.
Story wise, the issue is basically setting up for something big next time since it’s basically a flashback. The whole issue is about them just getting to Vegas, talking to each other, and buying drugs while they are putting characters and elements into place for the next issue. Again, the dialogue and interactions are fine (a few good lines here or there), but nothing here is particularly compelling and at points it feels like padding. The story flows well and is easy enough to read, and like you may guess, what is set up here does make for a pretty good cliffhanger and can make you excited to see what happens in the next issue. Personally, I really hope the comic gets back to the “class” part of Deadly Class and to the school side of this because so far that’s where the comic has shown the most promise and uniqueness despite the fact that we’ve barely scratched the surface. Other than some rather boring and slow paced pages and panels of text to explain the plot (apparently, someone forgot about “show, don’t tell”), the writing is fine but there’s just not much to say or see in regard to the story.
Umm… I think the artist forgot to draw some pages and decided to just shove the script into a single panel.
The artwork with the comic is what you would expect from Wes Craig at this point. He has a very unique style and feel that may not completely appeal to me, but works well in the context and tone of the series. Lots of interesting angles, layouts, depiction of motion and movement, and distinct looking characters. The colors work with the tone (though I can’t help but wonder if we’ll ever see a normal sky color) and especially well in the hallucination portion of the book (speaking of which, the penciling there is also pretty good). Outside of an odd moment of laziness on part of the artist where one panel looks exactly the same as the previous one without the slightest bit of difference, the book looked great overall.
Is It Good?
Deadly Class #4 seems to be setting up for something exciting and thrilling the next issue, but it doesn’t really go anywhere much beyond that. Despite some decent writing and good interactions between the cast, the characters aren’t particularly likeable and the story is on the weak side. The comic does seem to be heading somewhere interesting and exciting very soon, but right now, it is just having a rather weak showing.