Coming back to university always makes me think of Harry Potter: the journey to school, the quirky professors, the magic of friendship, and the hallowed halls. Coincidently, I also have a friend and classmate who is reading the series for the first time. The conversations we are having sparked the inspiration for this week’s review.
What if you took Harry Potter, mixed in some hard drugs, a dash of punk rock, a sprinkle of cold-blooded murder, and set the whole thing to bake in the 1980s? You would get Deadly Class, a comic series by writer Rick Remender, artist Wes Craig, and colourist Lee Loughridge that is soon to be hit a T.V. series on Syfy.
Deadly Class follows Marcus Lopez, a newly enrolled student at King’s Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts. Located in the San Francisco underground, King’s Dominion is a school where the word’s deadliest assassins, dictators, and crime syndicates send their children to become heartless killers. With classes on dismemberment and mid-terms that require murder, King’s Dominion is a vicious school, especially if you don’t fit in. When Marcus shows up to school with no affiliation to a prestigious crime family, and a tendency to wear his heart on his sleeve, teenage angst becomes the least of his worries.
Deadly Class is exquisitely written, and Remender seamlessly integrates music from the mid 80s in every gutter and panel of the series. Music plays such a large role in creating the atmosphere of Deadly Class, that Remender has posted a playlist on Spotify to supplement the comic reading experience.
Beyond Remender’s writing is the unrelentingly talented Craig, an artist at the height of his creative medium. Craig’s use of panels is so masterful that the page layouts become almost tangible in their intricacies. Colourist Lee Loughridge is also at the top of his game; his minimalist colour pallet leaves yellows, blues, and pinks dripping off the page and landing directly in your mind’s eye.
Deadly Class is currently sitting at seven collected volumes and counting, so check this series out before you’re the only one who doesn’t know how finals end at King’s Dominion.