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REVIEW: Kill the Rats in ‘Deadly Class #17′

 
Deadly Class 17 cov
Deadly Class 17 cov
Deadly Class 17 cov

 
Overview
 

Story by: Rick Remender
 
Art by: Wes Craig
 
Colors by: Jordan Boyd
 
Publisher:
 
FG RATING
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


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To sum it all up..

KILL THEM ALL! Rick Remender and Wes Craig unleash hell in the premier chapter entitled DIE FOR ME in the high octane, visceral and angst filled young adult graphic series Deadly Class #17. Please be reminded here, this new story arc is definitely not for the faint of hearts out there. Consider yourselves warned. Ok, […]

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Posted December 26, 2015 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Deadly Class 17 cov

KILL THEM ALL!

Rick Remender and Wes Craig unleash hell in the premier chapter entitled DIE FOR ME in the high octane, visceral and angst filled young adult graphic series Deadly Class #17. Please be reminded here, this new story arc is definitely not for the faint of hearts out there. Consider yourselves warned. Ok, let’s scrutinize some interesting and bloody things here.

The cover art of co-creator Craig is already the indicator of what to expect in the interiors. True enough, the headmaster, the record holder of the most kills of “rats”, is nowhere inside this gruesome opening except the cover, but his final examination is what mattered most. With so many body counts here, it already constitutes the overall theme of the said arc.

And to make things more interesting, the justification of this wholesale bloodbath is not random, but both based in the school’s tradition and as the repercussions of the main protagonist’s actions in the previous story arc. However, Remender and Craig want readers to witness the gravity and magnitude of this ultimate test of survival in the most literal sense. Students, youngsters, and juveniles who are pitting/killing/ massacring one another in any forms of literature are one of the major themes explored in the 20th century up to this time. As a matter of fact, Rick cites the controversial masterpiece, Lord of the Flies, as one of the inspirations for this arc. Indeed, the upper echelons are tasked to liquidate the “rats” for one solid week. Furthermore, alliances are formed to pursue some of their groups’ and/or individual’s respective/collective agendas. The breakdown of civilization is mimicked in the academy’s halls, having the readers witness how former lovers and friends butcher one another, while some try to maintain a sense of humanity by sparing or saving their comrades/lovers alike. Traitors and sneaky types emerge to either survive or fulfill their insidious plans, as what this bespectacled fatso is really capable of. The latter group is obviously sparse while the former is definitely in survival mode. This is what the dance of life is supposed to be in the secondary level—rules of nature!

Craig’s interiors are definitely intense, fast-paced, truly messy, and totally hardcore to the bones. Given to the context of the situation, who would not feel sorry for the fates of the hunters and the hunted? This is surely the illustrator’s most violent issue yet, and seriously, this seventeenth chapter is the spiritual successor of another controversial cinematic masterpiece, BATTLE ROYALE! The paneling is actually conventional, but the pacing shines furiously to the extent of trying to figure out if that poor fellow is killed or otherwise, and the shifting from one room or corridor to another to display the artist’s flair of sequential movement. The facial portrayals are even terrifying to look at. A mixture of pure rage and dismay is perfectly illustrated to emphasize the seriousness of this chapter alone; and what more in the succeeding chapters which the number of casualties will surely rise! Wes is definitely on top of his game! And, colorist Jordan Boyd really encapsulates the mayhem. The color of the blood is really authentic here, a no-holds barred illumination of death and destruction heightens greatly with Boyd’s application of that singular primary color.

If there is something to criticize here, this is definitely a mature read from start to finish. There are no love-making here or sexual innuendos here, just pure massacre. Myopic minds may unfairly connect this one with some recent shootings and violence around; and also the utterances of some politically incorrect terms can shiver some sensitive minded readers. Also, there are pages that display the heavily wounded Russian bully whom the main cast injured in the last issue; but in the later panels, that same jock is clean and bloodless. But the rest is pure bloody spectacle!

Deadly Class #17 is one of the best and bloodiest openings of the series so far. It opens with the blast, and it recaptures the intensity and suspense of the earlier classics mentioned above. Also, it analogizes the extreme form of the final examination period, which only Remender and Craig can visual in this medium. I am definitely going to sink my teeth here! There is no guarantee who among the present batch will get out ALIVE!


Paul Ramos

 


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