Review: DEADLY CLASS #11

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DEADLY CLASS #11
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Wes Craig & Lee Loughridge
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: February 18, 2015

After ten issues I started to think that we’ve seen it all from Deadly Class. It has consistently been a special comic, and I was sure that the creative team of Rick Remender, Wes Craig, and Lee Loughridge would be able to continue telling amazing stories for years to come.

What I really mean is that I thought I had these guys figured out. You have these kids in a messed up situation, and digging themselves into a hole by doing really messed up things to survive life as teenagers. It’s a formula that has worked, and will continue to work for this book. I just figured this book couldn’t shock me anymore than it has. I figured that there was no way they could top some of the things we’ve seen in the book so far. Well about that, I have to say it never felt so good to be so wrong.

The best way to describe the final issue of Deadly Class‘ second arc is that it is pure, unadulterated mayhem. The action picks up exactly where issue ten left off, and doesn’t let up for  twenty-two pages. It is wall to wall action, as the raid on Fuckface’s residence reaches a fever pitch until we are left with a final page that will have readers shouting at the Comic Book Gods for making us wait two months for issue twelve. If you thought the violence in this series was extreme before I can’t even imagine what your reaction will be to the depths of depravity Remender and company find themselves putting on the page.

The action jumps back and forth as the our teens find themselves separated, and outmatched by Fuckface’s Angel Dust addled, barbaric family. The issue is filled with some of the most down and dirty action sequences I’ve ever seen in a comic book. This issue is not for the faint of heart. There is blood, and severed heads, and maybe even an eyeball where it’s not supposed to be. That’s not even to mention a sound effect that will haunt you. This is just one absolutely crazy comic book.

A lot of the action is heightened by Remender’s script, as he finds a way get the characters to emote among the blood, and explosions. The brutality found in these action scenes are on another level, but the beauty of Deadly Class is that it is always about more than just the shock factor. This isn’t just gratuitous violence for the hell of it, as there’s a really great story here. Remender strikes a balance in his script that might be overlooked because of all of the crazy visuals.

This holds especially true in the scenes between Maria and Saya that resolve last month’s cliffhanger. These are teenagers wearing their emotions on their sleeves, and we have spent the last year watching the relationships between these characters develop. We have seen mistakes being made. Now we get to see everything come crashing down in a mix of violence and emotion. This book doesn’t forget what it’s about at its core, and that’s important.

I can only imagine what was going through Wes Craig’s head as he was reading the script to this issue. Remender asks Craig to draw a lot of messed up things this issue, and not only does he do so, but he turns in what may be some of the most visually stunning sequences since the acid trip back in issue four. I say this every time I review an issue of this book, but nobody in comics is better than Wes Craig at manipulating the panels on a page to immerse the readers in the action.

This is done by slanting panels, making panels irregular, and even reverting back to regular panels for maximum effect.  Craig does all of this while capturing the emotions of the characters as they fight for their lives. To top it all off there’s the amazing colors of Lee Loughridge. The colors jump around from page to page, and even sometimes from panel to panel. Loughridge is able to match colors to a scene, and make them fit the story so well that I almost have to wonder if these cues are in Remender’s script.

When you look past all of the blood and violence, this issue is a prime example of an entire creative team being so on the same page that it’s scary. While it’s hard to say that individually each of these creators are the best at their profession, it is quite easy to argue that Deadly Class might just feature the best creative TEAM in comics (emphasis on team).

What a wild ride Deadly Class has been so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. What this creative team is doing with this series is mind blowing. I can understand the violence not being everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. What I feel after finishing an issue of this series is an almost overwhelming feeling that I had just read the latest issue of the best comic book on the racks. There are a lot of great comic books being published today, but none are better than Deadly Class.

The Verdict: 10/10

 

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