Another issue of Deadly Class, another session of monologues, repetitive filler, and setups that go nowhere.
Much like the previous issue, we spend a lot of time in Marcus’s head as the sudden divide between him and Maria widens. There are other character developments, like certain characters sleeping with each other, but it all seems to come out of nowhere. Nothing in Deadly Class feels planned out anymore. It’s as if Remender and Craig are winging it issue to issue, causing out-of-character moments to abound. Even when characters make motivated decisions, like the ending with Shabnam, it doesn’t feel climactic. It just kind of happens.
Too much of #42 is Marcus giving us exposition about characters we’re already very familiar with. But when we actually spend time with those characters, they won’t stop talking about what they’re feeling. For instance: Maria wants to party and Marcus doesn’t want to party. That’s already been set up. But when they get into an argument, it goes like this…
MARIA: “You decided to be straight edge, and if I don’t follow you down this new road I’m the villain for not adapting to you? How does that work?”
MARCUS: “It’s hard to know when something is needed anymore or when something just doesn’t work.”
MARIA: “You’ve spent your entire life fighting anyone who tells you to do anything—but when I don’t obey you then you threaten to leave me?”
It just goes on and on and on. Conflict in stories is great. Characters confronting each other can be more exciting than a fight scene. But when the dialogue is this on the nose and overwritten, it’s mind-numbing and just plain bad. However, according to Remender, this is very important character development, because Marcus goes to see Blue Velvet (REMEMBER THE ’80S?) and he bemoans audience members that don’t understand deep stories, man, calling them “dumb mother*ckers who see good character development as filler.”
The problem with Deadly Class isn’t that it’s too boring because it focuses on character devlopment. It’s repetitive and doesn’t know how to juggle the cast, which leads to a glut of monologues, exposition, and out-of-character moments.
As for the art, Wes Craig does an admirable job . This is a pretty low-key issue, so he doesn’t have a lot of scale to work with. But that’s perfectly fine, because #42 takes place at a log cabin party in the winter, so there are plenty of moments where Craig and colorist Jordan Boyd capture the magic of snowy mountains and snug fireplaces.
At this point, we should stop waiting for Deadly Class to finally pick up and do something with all the momentum it built up. This series has turned into The Walking Dead. Not the comics. The TV show, i.e, scene after scene of characters talking about their feelings via bad dialogue across a wild tangle of story threads that keep slipping with every installment. To quote Joy Division: “Where will it end?”
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