Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Wes Craig
Colourist: Jordan Boyd
Letterer: Russ Wooton
Release Date: 16th January 2019
This might be the most ‘Deadly Class’ issue of Deadly Class so far.
With this issue serving as a triumphant return following an extended break, not to mention it being released on the same day as the first episode of the new TV series airs on SyFy, it would have been easy for Remender and team to phone in an issue that focused on introducing new readers, refreshing the memory of old readers and generally easing everyone in. That would be the easy option. Instead, what we get is one of those issues. A peyote-fuelled bender which, while it does introduce some of the main characters, also holds absolutely nothing back when it comes to going down a deep, deep hole filled with hallucinations, and Wes Craig having (what I can only assume to be) the time of his life bringing these creations to life.
For fans of Remender’s work, they know full well just how ‘out there’ he can get, from the Apocalypse X-Force saga to pretty much any issue of Black Science. However, this issue takes his vision a slightly different direction, playing on Marcus’s insecurities and his uncertainty that what they are doing is the right thing. It deals with loss and heartbreak, while at the same time continues the heavy tone of the previous arc, providing an issue that feels more like an epilogue than anything else.
The artistic partnership of Wes Craig and Jordan Boyd really shines here as they seriously let their freak flags fly. The hallucination issues of Deadly Class have always been a favourite of mine, purely because of how unchained the art is. Boyd’s colours are kaleidoscopic and reminiscent of ‘80 acid house skate decks or Heavy Metal Magazine back issues. Craig outdoes himself here as well, with unusual page layouts, creative use of negative space and an approach which incorporates different styles depending on the trip, with my personal favourites being the lizard scale panel layout on page 8 and the entire Helmut introduction.
This issue deals with loss. Lots of loss. But it’s the way it deals with this loss that makes this such a standout issue. It isn’t neat or tidy, it’s chaotic and jagged and confusing, which is exactly what I’ve come to expect from this series.
A perfect return. A little on the weird side, but the good kind of weird, y’know? Like putting French fries in ice-cream, it doesn’t have to make sense for you to like it.
The writer of this piece was: Chris Bennett
You can find Chris on Twitter.