Deadly Class #34
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Wes Craig
Deadly Class #34 leaves the reader with a considerable amount to think about when it concludes. Rick Remender has managed to fill this arc with enough material to take up twice as much space without the feeling of overcrowding. Now, most of the conflict that has been building up since issue #22 is finally reaching a climax.
The city is being torn apart due to Marcus and Maria finally running into Viktor’s crew and the Yakuza. Remender handles the pacing exceptionally well, giving every character a moment in the spotlight. The first half of the issue is chaotic, but eventually the explosions and gunfire give way to a more intimate sort of mayhem when Remender focuses on Marcus and Viktor for the second half of the issue.
This climactic showdown is where the issue truly shines. Remender’s ability to write hopeless moments can’t be compared, as Marcus learns about everything that occurred during last year’s final exams. Marcus finds himself dealing with a lot more than just Viktor, and finds himself facing an unbearable choice.
While it feels like Remender is able to build tension with his writing alone, Wes Craig’s sequences make this hard to read (In the best way). His art brings life to the script. Each panel manages to touch every sense, allowing the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks between the panels. I found myself unable to stop reading as panel transitions and expressions display an incredible amount of hurt in every strike, punch, and realization.
Craig’s work throughout the rest of the issue is executed as usual. Every page has a convoluted layout that adds chaos to every punch, gunshot, and stabbing. Jordan Boyd’s colors only further accelerate the speed of the issue, with an aggressive palette of reds and yellows that don’t give way until the last few pages.
Overall, Deadly Class #34 is everything it was hyped up to be. The constant infighting between the students and the Yakuza is exhilarating, while the climactic confrontation between Marcus and Viktor is powerful. This issue is ugly, emotional, and provocative, and has some of the best action in the series. The final page is loud, but feels quiet immediately after, leaving the reader with an empty feeling that won’t be filled until the next issue.
Deadly Class #34
An emotional climax. Deadly Class #34 represents the best of the series.