Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Wes Craig
Colors- Jordan Boyd
Letters- Rus Wootan
Editor- Sebastian Girner
It’s Morning in America and classes at Kings Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts are once again in session. Summer vacation is over as Deadly Class #22 begins a new school year. Master Lin is welcoming the incoming freshmen class, laying out what their year will entail while also informing them of what is and is not prohibited at Kings Dominion. Contrasting Master Lin’s positive speech we get a peek into the thoughts of Saya, our last remaining protagonist from freshman year. Saya has a more realistic take on what the freshman will encounter in the coming school year as she barely survived the experience. Saya’s anger and sadness are abundantly apparent and my heart broke for her even though she ripped my heart out last issue.
Deadly Class #22 also catches up with sophomore co-valedictorian, Shabnam, as he stress eats to calm his nerves while trying to maintain his place at the top of the food chain. Joining him at the head table is his girlfriend, the Troll Kelly Grogda, who is using Shabnam for a taste of power. Our resident racist daughter of the Dixie Mafia Brandy rounds out this trio of terror as she trashes everyone in her line of sight. Having orchestrated the violent end of freshman finals these three feel that their sophomore year will be spent on top. What they didn’t expect is that pacts and treaties established during finals might not continue into the new school year. Challenging Shabnam is the resident USSR killing machine, Vicktor, who does nothing but praise himself in the third person and declare that he is the true power at Kings Dominion. Vicktor has the sycophant Pauly on his side as well as the ever-conniving Stephen whose hate for Shabnam is personal and runs deep. A civil war is brewing between these two factions and Stephen makes the first move by the issues end.
My favorite part of this issue is meeting the new Freshman Class. There’s the Rockabilly Quan from Vietnam, Cormac the son of an IRA assassin, Helmut the heavy metal loving East German and the mysterious Zenzele. The interaction of these four was my favorite moment of the book as they bicker over their heritage while also trashing each other’s musical taste. It reminded me of early issues of the series and why I feel in love with this book. This scene is Rick Remender at his best and if it does nothing else it clearly establishes that the Lady in Red is a shit song. By the end of the book one of these four is going to be in a heap of trouble and the remaining three are going to be looking for an ally against the sophomore elite. I have a feeling where this is going but I’m excited to see how it plays out.
Wes Craig’s art is wonderful as always and Jordan Boyd’s colors are dark and moody, perfectly fitting this book and especially this issue. The art for Deadly Class perfectly suits the story that Rick Remender is telling. I feel a kinship to Remender as his music and politics fall in line with my own and Deadly Class speaks to me. Yes, the last arc brought me to tears but by the end of this issue I was already feeling the love I had for Marcus with our new class, which makes me fearful of what is to come this school year. I’m trying not to get attached like I did with Billy; that brave little punk had balls of steel and I’m going to miss him. I can’t go through that again, but I know I will since I’m with this book to the end. No one is safe in Deadly Class but Remender makes me care about these kids and I know my heart is going to break again and again over the school year.
Verdict: Buy This Book! If you’ve been reading Deadly Class then you need to stay with it. I know you may be emotionally spent from the last arc but you know you want more. If you are new then this is a great jumping on point. Come on, you know you want to read what all the anti-social kids are reading.