This is a graphic novel I’ve had on my shelf for quite some time but didn’t pick up until I heard the television adaptation had come out on SyFy. I love nothing more than being a smug book reader. I’ve heard it described has Harry Potter for assassins and the description is apt but I think you need to throw a little John Hughes in there to make it a perfect comparison. Deadly Class is the story of Marcus Lopez, a homeless teen in 1987 who is accepted into Kings Dominion, a super secret high school for potential assassins. Instead of jocks and preps, the cliques in his school consist of the kids of top KGB agents, white nationalists, South American drug lords and powerful Yakuza. Marcus fits in with none of them, making his high school experience exponentially more precarious than the average misfit teen from the 80s
This book, as you might expect is extremely graphically violent. So if that sort of thing puts you off, this is not the graphic novel for you. This first volume follows Marcus’ first days at King’s Dominion and introduces us to a slew of potential friends and enemies. He already has a reputation due to an incident at boy’s home that isn’t fully fleshed out in this volume. There’s also a mysterious mad man with a burned face stalking him due to the same incident. Volume one ends with some of Marcus’ problems solved but with much bigger ones on the horizon.
Aside from being a lovely bit of nostalgia for anyone who was a high school misfit in the 1980s (I did not see my teens until the 90s), this book starts out with interesting characters, great action and some genuine laugh out loud moments. Not to mention the fact that the art is stunning. If you’re not put off by the violence you should add this one to your graphic novel collection.