Last week was our monthly Graphic Novel Book Club at Boomerang Comics in Lewisville, TX. We reviewed the The Image Comics trade for Deadly Class, by Rick Remender with art by Lee Loughridge and Wesley Craig. It was a good read.
This month was a combo month with November and we had a sort of holiday pot luck. It made the whole event a lot more fun and it carried on for over two hours (to be fair we strayed off topic toward the end and were discussing mostly Batfleck and Vegas weddings). We did cover the book though for a good hour to start while we ate enchiladas, hummus, and pizza tied together with butternut squash soup (because these things go together). It was enjoyable.
Vol 1 of Deadly Class is titled, 1987 Reagan Youth. The book itself is a period piece as well as a youthful tale of friends coming of age together while struggling with life and relationships. They attend a Harry Potter-esque underground academy for assassins, where the classes are on beheadings and the assignments may consist of killing a vagrant. This gaggle of mislead youths drag their twisted and disturbing interpretations of teenage angst around through town and on a f***** up road trip to Vegas (so I guess the wedding talk was more of a segway). The story centers around Marcus, a homeless orphan (he’s 14 so he may be too old to be an orphan. It seems like you have to be under 13 for the term to apply) who is recruited to King’s Dominion School for the Deadly Arts.
The feeling I got from the group was mostly positive. I liked the book quite a bit and so did several others. Some of the biggest hiccups were that it didn’t focus as much on the School as some would have liked and that the teenage angst was a bit too much. “Very Frank Miller…” was tossed out there, and maybe we can only stomach so many of those books a decade. There was some concern for the “animal cruelty” suggested in the book as well. The character who is being set up as the central antagonist has a special sort of affection for animals. I thought his hamburgered face and eerie calm added to his disturbing persona (and it was funny in a creepy way).
Over all it was liked though. The art and coloring displayed between Craig and Loughridge was phenomenal and brilliant with it’s simplistic approach. The trippy imagery during the acid chapter was great (and I don’t think anyone even pointed out the Hunter S. Thompson references, which included a cameo). While some of the angst was over the top, we had to revisit the fact that these are kids and their scatter brained concepts and self important and delusional ideals come with the territory.
This is just a vol 1 in an on-going series, which leaves open the window to close some of the feelings of unfulfillment. Such as, not enough Kings Dominion, character purpose, red herrings, and loose plot threads. The characters mesh well together and the teenage crush and love triangles were fun. For those of us who hadn’t been following this book all year it will be a new addition to the pull lists. For a compilation of 6-issues under 10$ there’s no reason not to pick this up. Buy it as a gift!
As always feel free to disagree in the comments below or @werewolforigin on twitter. Next month we will be back on schedule with the last Tuesday of the Month. We will be reading Ms. Marvel vol 1 and I will be discussing it the following Wednesday if you want to join in.