Image Comics took a look back at Rick Remender's Deadly Class ahead of the comic series' transition to television next year at the NYCC panel "Deadly Class 101."
Deadly Class follows a group of students enrolled at a San Francisco high school in the 1980s as they train to become assassins for a global coalition of crime families. It's the kind of high-concept idea that has made Image one of the standout publishers of original comics. Image, and Remender's, statuses are only going to continue to grow as Deadly Class embarks on its media expansion.
Before delving into the comic book, audience members got some big news upfront: The series, produced by the Russo Brothers, will be premire on SYFY January 16th, 2019 and will feature Henry Rollins and Ice-T in undisclosed roles. But before the show hits, fans will have volumes 6, 7, and 8 of Deadly Class to look forward to when they hit shelves on October 17th.
Rick Remender, who recently detailed what makes Deadly Class stand apart from other 80s set yarns, is known for having a quite prolific bibliography, not least of all his work at Marvel including Uncanny X-Force, Venom, and Captain America. But Deadly Class is a break from tales of costume-clad heroes, one that Remender was sorely in need of. The author admitted that he had grown "a little tired of writing behind capes and superheroes."
For Remender, Deadly Class is something personal, a commentary on Reagan-era deregulation that's just as prescient today as it was in the 80s. On the perspective of the series, which began during Obama's presidency, Remender said, "I think you get old enough you see the pendulum." While he said it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Reagan's policies returned, they returned with such ferocity that now "we're living in a f**king nightmare." And it's this nightmare that created the space for Deadly Class's angry, yet brutally honest voice.
Series artist, Wesley Craig, shed light on the series' brutal high school setting and how that defines the characters. "When I think about high school I think about jail....when you're there you're trying to be this perfect person, this perfect punk, this perfect jock" which takes away from the complexity, and sometimes the dangers, or reality.
Remender revealed that the series was also inspired by DIY punk rock ideology and Henry Rollins' spoken word, along with how everyone's life is curated by Instagram and Twitter. While comic readers have spent four years digesting Remender's influences, and affinity for swear words, Deadly Class will have a whole new fanbase to school when the series premires in January.
Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.