Writer: Charlotte Parker
Deadly Class is the best comic you are not reading.
Written by Rick Remender and drawn by Wes Craig, Deadly Class shines as a comic series.
The best way to describe the series is, “dark, teenage angst with murder and a side of drugs.” I am going to give you a brief insight of how this underground book is making way through the Indie-Comics Channel.
Marcus Lopez is homeless. His parents were killed after an insane woman jumped off a bridge right on top of them. He has nowhere to go and therefore sets out to start his life on the streets of San Francisco. The only things keeping him sane are his journal entries which the audience gets to witness from time to time.
In Deadly Class, we get a peek at what it is like to live on the streets during 1987. Remender makes it apparent for the audience to know that this is the time when President Reagan cut funding away from the institutions for homeless and mental patients.
The homeless are shown throughout the first issue as Marcus constantly witnesses public displays of defecation, dirty sexual intercourse and killings. This is no life for a young man to live and eventually even tries to kill himself by attempting to jump off a bridge. Ironic isn’t it? He is met by a mysterious Japanese girl who convinces him not to jump and instead recruits him to a private high school.
As Marcus settles in, he eventually makes a couple of friends, gets a job at a local comic book store, gets involved in a love triangle and gets REALLY high in Las Vegas. Not bad for someone who was just living on the streets, ready to end his life, right?
Well, this isn’t your typical teen drama. The school he is recruited to is a secret school for assassins. His friends eventually turn on and attempt to kill him multiple times. The two girls he is involved with literally try to kill each other over him. He gets fired from the comic book store for not only being incredibly late but for defecating himself in front of everyone. He also overdoses on acid in Las Vegas while people are chasing him and being murdered for literally an entire issue.
This downward spiral doesn’t stop for Marcus. Actually, nothing good happens to the kid say for getting laid every now and then. We see his life at its worst moments. We feel for him. We want him to succeed in whatever he attempts.
Remender created something really great here. He created a story that looks into Marcus’s life and it was automatically one you could sympathize with. The audience wants to see what happens to this down-and-out character. The same could be said for all of Rick’s characters, really. They all have a story. They all have something they want to accomplish. Whether it be the “bad guys” or the “good guys,” we as the readers want Rick’s characters to succeed. And quite frankly, if that isn’t great storytelling, I don’t know what is.