Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s graphic novel, Deadly Class, has received the adaptation treatment courtesy of the Russo Brothers and is now airing on Syfy with its own take on the story.
Deadly Class the series is set in a dark, heightened world against the backdrop of late ‘80s counterculture, following the story of Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth). Syfy’s official synopsis describes him as “a teen living on the streets who is recruited into Kings Dominion, an elite private academy where the world’s top crime families send their next generations. Maintaining his moral code while surviving a ruthless curriculum, vicious social cliques and his own adolescent uncertainties soon proves to be vital.”
Follow along with our reviews, including the one for the finale, as the season progresses.
Deadly Class Reviews and Episode Guide
We’ll be reviewing Deadly Class as it airs on Syfy. Check back each week for episode descriptions, air dates, and links to reviews as they’re written.
Deadly Class Episode 1: “Reagan Youth”
A disillusioned teen finds purpose and fights for survival at an elite academy for the Deadly Arts. (air date: January 16, 2019)
Deadly Class Episode 2: “Noise, Noise, Noise”
Marcus, dealing with guilt of killing Rory, has a party at Shabnam’s and all the school is invited. (air date: January 23, 2019)
Deadly Class Episode 3: “Snake Pit”
Marcus navigates a prank war between the Rats and Legacies, as everyone prepares for the big dance. (air date: January 30, 2019)
Deadly Class Episode 4: “Mirror People”
Saya and Marcus have to survive an attack on the school when Saya’s past comes back to haunt her. (air date: February 6, 2019)
Deadly Class Episode 5: “Saudade”
On a mission to Vegas to kill Billy’s dad, Marcus accidentally takes way too much acid. (air date: February 13, 2019)
Deadly Class Episode 6: “Stigmata Martyr”
Marcus and Maria, now dating in secret, have to deal with the ramifications of [spoiler]’s death. (air date: February 20, 2019)’
Deadly Class Episode 7: “Rise Above”
Marcus confesses the truth about Chester to Saya which leads them on a citywide manhunt. (air date: February 27, 2019)
Deadly Class Episode 8: “The Clampdown”
Following the death of [spoiler] and [spoiler], a gang war brews during a lockdown imposed by Lin. (air date: March 6, 2019)
Deadly Class Episode 9: “Kids of the Black Hole”
After discovering Chester has taken over Shabnam’s house, our heroes lay down plans to raid it. (air date: March 13, 2019)
Deadly Class Episode 10: “Sink with California”
Our heroes raid Chester manor, while across town Lin runs with his daughter from El Diablo. (air date: March 20, 2019)
Deadly Class Cast
Syfy revealed the full Deadly Class cast list back in September, after its initial order for the pilot. They consist of the following:
Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange) is Master Lin, the headmaster of the School for the Deadly Arts. “Deadly and feared. He’s an ever-changing chameleon who keeps his students desperate for his approval.”
Benjamin Wadsworth (Teen Wolf) is Marcus. “At one point we were all Marcus, an awkward outcast full of social anxiety struggling to find his place in the cold and brutal world of high school. Marcus is bottled rage, if his life had been normal this kid might have been an artist, even a poet. Instead he’s had to survive life on the streets of San Francisco. His eyes show it. He’s morally centered in an unethical world.”
Lana Condor (X-Men: Apocalypse) is Saya, “mysterious and guarded with a deadly reputation. Saya was banished from one of the top Yakuza clans in Japan, sent to the School for the Deadly Arts to redeem herself. Driven to be the valedictorian, nothing will stand in her way.”
Maria Gabriela de Faria (Yo Soy Franky) is Maria. “One minute Maria’s an extrovert and an exhibitionist, a tornado of ever changing emotions—fierce, charming, beautiful and oozing femininity — the next she’s murderous, feral, and crippled by rage. At the School for the Deadly Arts her instability is treated like a super power.”
Luke Tennie is Willie, “a hardened gangster, but underneath is an honest and thoughtful person who would rather be reading comic books and listening to music than engaging in blood work. Forced by his mother, leader of an LA gang, into the School for the Deadly Arts, he is under endless pressure to become the thing he hates most.”
Liam James (The Family) is Billy, “skater punk, son of a corrupt cop and now a misfit at the school. He’s off kilter and high energy. Billy combats every situation with sarcasm and humor. Always a glimmer of mischief in his eye.”
Michel Duval (Señora Acero) is Chico, “scary, muscular, son of a cartel drug lord. Everyone knows not to mess with Chico. The only one who can hurt him is his girlfriend.”
Guest stars will include Henry Rollins as Jürgen Denke, Taylor Hickson as Petra, Siobhan Williams as Brandy, Sean Depner as Viktor, Jack Gillett as Lex, and Ryan Robbins as Rory.
The pilot adaptation will be written by Remender and Miles Feldstott. Adam Targum, lately of Banshee and Outcast from Cinemax, will shworun, while Lee Toland Krieger, who directed a number of episodes of Riverdale, will direct the pilot.
The show has strong source material to draw from, both narratively and aesthetically. Craig’s art looks like a cross between David Mazzuchelli on Batman: Year One and Frank Miller on Daredevil. Colorist Lee Loughridge gives every scene a distinctive look and mood, and Remender is a master at cutting his schmaltz with cynicism and his cynicism with genuine, heartfelt emotion. If the pilot is half as good as the first trade of Deadly Class, the show should be very good indeed.
Deadly Class Key Art
Syfy has released the following key art for Deadly Class (see below). Pretty snazzy…
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.