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Deadly Class #37 review: Saya it ain’t so

Regardless of past problems with the series, this issue is fantastic.

For the previous issue of Deadly Class, some critic referred to the series like this: “Deadly Class continues to be in a slump…Hopefully the next installments will move on and learn to just say no to bad melodrama.” Well…that was me. I wrote that. And now I feel bad for saying that — because this issue is fantastic.

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We take a step back from Marcus and company to check in on the trauma Saya is enduring at the hands of her brother, Kenji, who’s bringing a new definition to revelry. But the teenage ninja is in such a bad state, she needs a savior. And who might come to her aid? Remember the cowardly Quan? It’s his time to step up, despite being named “Sake-B---h” by Kenji.

Image Comics

Rick Remender has always played around with character alliances, where heroes become villains and visa versa. All too often, the changes seem to come out of nowhere, included just to be a shocking twist. Luckily, here, we completely understand the head-spaces of the main characters. Their actions fit with their previously established personalities and how they’ve grown.

Regardless of whether a Remender comic is good, they’re masterfully paced. There’s effective suspense, emotional beats, and action in #37. On top of that, the tonal switches required are seamless.

Wes Craig’s art isn’t as tight and controlled as it was in the earlier days of Deadly Class, but that’s not at all a bad thing. Craig’s borderline impressionistic touches complement the sweaty, drunken environment blasted with neon lights. Elevating the art to an even higher level are Jordan Boyd’s colors, who Craig clearly relies on heavily. It’s exhilarating to see such a synergy between artists.

This series has its ups and downs, but it’s all worth it for tightly written excursions like this.

Is it good?
This series has its ups and downs, but it's all worth it for tightly written excursions like this.
Convincing, engaging character work.
Wes Craig and Jordan Boyd's synergy.
Tight pacing and tonal shifts.

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