Being a teenager at any point in time is weird and confusing as hell. Your perspective on things starts to take shape, molding itself into something concrete. Sometimes you begin to hate yourself, and subsequently humanity. You get looked at as a weirdo and an outcast. Eventually you band together with other outcasts and friendless people and you form bonds that last until the end of high school. High School is both one of the worst and greatest times in a person’s life, because it helps you really define who you are as a person.
Deadly Class #7 encapsulates the high school experience (at least for some of us) almost perfectly. It takes a dip out of reality with the assassin school of course, but for the most part it captures what it’s like to be an outcast among your peers. Marcus comes off as an extremely relatable protagonist. Remender writes teenage voices well. It must be because he dips in and out of personal journals from his life. Even the cringe-worthy stuff. Deadly Class provides a voice to those who don’t have one.
Of course the other elements of the story are great. Threats of cartels, drug and alcohol-induced partying, and crazy hillbilly killers all add a darkly funny edge to a book that could use a bit more humor in general. Fuckface is probably one of the funniest characters I can think of in recent memory, but in a psychologically disturbing and violent way. I know these thoughts are a bit rambling, but it’s inherently hard to write about a book you love.
Wes Craig’s art is the other end of the spectrum, and the first thing it brings to mind is a sleeker David Mazzuchelli, if it’s even possible to get any sleeker than that. Craig’s work is heavy on shading and wispy, wiry lines. It also heavily relies on Loughridge’s colors to convey the mood, who often chooses from a single palette per page and works with heavier and lighter shades of that color (the best example I can think of is pages 12-13, where everything is mix of pinks and reds that help convey the wild, almost hostile atmosphere of the party at hand, while Lex categorizes everyone into form-fitting archetypes). Wes and Loughridge give the world these characters live in a distorted feeling, all fuzzy heads and gritty streets.
Deadly Class #7 reminds me majorly of both the good and hard times I had in my life, which is why it’s so hard for me to review. I love it, and I can’t think of a way to give it any crap or heckle it. all I can tell you is that Deadly Class #7 is it a pretty damn good read and a nice start to the arc.
My rating: 4.5/5