Deadly Class #16
By Rick Remender, Wes Craig & Jordan Boyd
Man, oh man! Does this creative team know how to end a story arc! Marcus is reeling from the consequences of his guilt/drug-ridden actions. His former best friends want to kill him, he and others may be ratted out to Master Lin and, to top everything else off, a possible STD…oh the folly of youth. Rick Remender and the Deadly Class crew create all these obstacles, but the end of the school years draws closer and as this comic has shown, Kings Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts likes to handle its curriculum in a very specific fashion…
Wes Craig is able to make readers excited and curious to see what each page will depict by constantly changing the page layout/structure. His work on this series is an amazing case study on sequential art. Considering this is the last issue of this arc, he doesn’t pull any punches. Despite the first half of the comic focusing on the “normal” issues of a teenager, he, along with colorist Jordan Boyd, are able to make the panels bleed with an ominous, foreboding tone. The last page of the issue is very simplistic, but speaks volumes of the horrors to come. It was a brilliant creative decision and executed perfectly. Boyd knows how to not overplay his talent and lets a simple palette convey all the heavy emotion. There are several different tones throughout this book and his color choice nailed every single one. He’s definitely an excellent contributor.
Remender continues his effective storytelling by focusing on the less extravagant and more realistic conflicts that a normal teenager would face. The audience would expect, especially after last month’s closing moments, major action to place right off the bat. How Rick plays with reader expectations makes it such a fantastic read. Of course, he makes sure that the payoff is absolutely worthwhile. This is a story about a school for assassins after all.
The only downside to this issue is the sole fact that the next issue won’t be out until December (the back matter shows what the cover will be – it’s a doozy!). This powerful series appears to have plenty of material to maintain its strong narrative, so readers should catch up and prepare.