'Deadly Class': The Creators Drop Their "Save Your Generation" Mixtape

Playlist by Wes Craig and Rick Remender

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

"SAVE YOUR GENERATION!" That's the title of Deadly Class' newest arc. But is it a plea for help or a battle cry? Or neither? That's kind of the beautiful thing about Deadly Class. It is unpredictable! For forty-five issues (and counting), creators Rick Remender and Wes Craig have delivered an ongoing emotional rollercoaster. Between the first page and the last page of each issue, you're bound to get a little rage, melancholy, dismay, and euphoria. And after several months of Deadly Class being on hiatus, this return issue is destined to throw another curveball your way. Starting with when it kicks off...

Deadly Class jumps ahead to the year 1991 starting with issue #45. Now, Marcus and his on-again/off-again "friends", are ditching the 1980s soundtrack for a '90s playlist. That means you can expect "grunge," "gangsta rap," "alternative," and more for every mood swing per page. PREVIEWSworld asked artist Wes Craig and writer Rick Remender to set the tone for this new arc with a playlist of their own. Below, they provide a diverse mix that should give you an idea of what's in store. Press play above to listen to each of their suggested tracks and then keep scrolling down to find out why these songs made the cut. 


NIRVANA

"SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT"

 

"Smells Like Teen Spirit." This is the big one. It rocketed the 1990s out of the hair-metal and jock rock of the 1980s. This song changed my life, no joke." Wes Craig 

 

 NED's ATOMIC DUSTBIN

"HAPPY"

"Ned's Atomic Dustbin should have been huge! They fused melodic punk with Britpop and it hit at just the right time for me. I didn't stop listening to this album for months. Their song "Happy" still gives me goosebumps when it starts. The entire God Fodder album is legendarily great. I'm listening to it now and smiling."- Rick Remender


BJORK

DEBUT

"Bjork's Debut. I only liked some of Bjork’s stuff, but to me, the idea that something so artsy, experimental, and weird could be a big hit, really spoke to how wide open the '90s were for different sounds. Same goes for Beck. Record labels didn’t know how to sell all these different sounds so everything was 'Alternative.'"- Wes Craig


 

FUGAZI

"MERCHANDISE"

"Fugazi's Repeater is a perfect album but the best song on it is "Merchandise" because it's the perfect mix of Fugazi, Rites of Spring, and Minor Threat. And encapsulates so much of what I love about their ideology. Fugazi don't need me to sell them but if somehow you missed them, start with "13 Songs" and move on through the entire catalogue. Magic aplenty. 2nd best band of GenX." Rick Remender

 


U2 

ACHTUNG, BABY

"U2's Achtung BabyEverybody loves to hate U2 today, but when this came out it was pretty exciting. The world’s biggest rock band was trying out new territory. I still like this album." Wes Craig


BAD RELIGION

"I WANT TO CONQUER THE WORLD"

"Bad Religion's I Want to Conquer the World is the ironic anthem song we used to sing to the moon while driving around all night. It's still on endless rotation for me. I still think the No Control and Suffer albums inspired a million other bands and changed all of music. Bad Religion is my favorite band still. Anyone who doesn't love this song is a bad person. Best band of GenX." -Rick Remender

 

OASIS

"MORNING GLORY"

"I remember going to the record store and this was in the 'Alternative' section. But it’s just a straight-down-the-middle rock record. When I saw that I felt like this 'underground taking over pop culture' thing had reached its end. The upheaval was over and pop would settle back into comfortable predictability. That included Green Day and all the pop-punk that came after. I loved that stuff, but it was very predictable and easily marketable, which is probably why record labels latched on to that stuff so hard." Wes Craig


 

PRIMUS

"TOO MANY PUPPIES"

"Primus' "Too Many Puppies" is unlike anything else. I remember thinking that there was hope for unique art-rock the first time I listened to it. When it kicks in, it kicks you in the guts, but under the power riff is fun and mirth. They don't take themselves too seriously, even though they can play like few others. Love the Frizzle Fry album." -Rick Remender


 

A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

THE LOW END THEORY

"Tribe Called Quest's Low-End Theory. Between Dr. Dre and Snoop, Biggie, Tupac, lots of stuff was happening in Rap, but for me, Tribe Called Quest and the Native Tongues was/are/will always be the most important movement. Again, not as marketable, but original, fun, and it stands the test of time." Wes Craig


 

SISTERS OF MERCY 

"VISION THING"

"Sisters of Mercy's "More" was an alternative radio hit back when alternative radio was AM stations playing punk, goth, emo, Britpop, post-punk, art-rock, and college. So, Sisters of Mercy fit right in. They mixed metal, goth, orchestral strings, and background singers with experimental risk-taking on every album and they are mighty powerful. They are one of my all-time favorite bands and "Vision Thing" was on heavy rotation around this time of my life." -Rick Remender

 

RADIOHEAD

OK COMPUTER

"This is the other big one for me. It was such a bold direction to cut themselves off from rock and move into this ethereal electronic sound. They were like a band from the future. I felt like it put the final nail in the coffin of rock as the dominant music. I love rock and roll, but in the 21st century it feels like it belongs in the previous century, and I think that’s thanks to Radiohead in a big way. The record industry would try to keep selling rock because that’s what they knew. But people started to move on and look for different sounds. Wes Craig

Left to right: Rick Remender and Wes Craig


Deadly Class #45 (FEB210066), the beginning of the "Save Your Generation" storyline, arrives in comic shops on April 28, 2021. You can order it and future issues from your local comic shop NOW using PREVIEWSworld Pullbox.

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram for more insight into your favorite comics! 

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A) Jason Wordie (A/CA) Wesley Craig
NEW STORY ARC!

"SAVE YOUR GENERATION," Part One-Critically acclaimed bestseller DEADLY CLASS returns in the apathy of the slacker era. Join MARCUS in 1991 where he lives in a bathtub, delivers pizza, and hides from the bite of reality. Haunted by his past and unable to change his ways, he self-medicates with drugs, sex, and music snobbery. But his past is never too far behind him.
In Shops: Apr 28, 2021
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #48

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A) Wesley Craig, Jason Wordie (CA) Brian Level, Moreno DiNisio
NEW STORY ARC!

"SAVE YOUR GENERATION," Part One-Critically acclaimed bestseller DEADLY CLASS returns in the apathy of the slacker era. Join MARCUS in 1991 where he lives in a bathtub, delivers pizza, and hides from the bite of reality. Haunted by his past and unable to change his ways, he self-medicates with drugs, sex, and music snobbery. But his past is never too far behind him.
In Shops: Apr 28, 2021
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #48

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A) Wesley Craig, Jason Wordie (CA) Jia
NEW STORY ARC!

"SAVE YOUR GENERATION," Part One-Critically acclaimed bestseller DEADLY CLASS returns in the apathy of the slacker era. Join MARCUS in 1991 where he lives in a bathtub, delivers pizza, and hides from the bite of reality. Haunted by his past and unable to change his ways, he self-medicates with drugs, sex, and music snobbery. But his past is never too far behind him.
In Shops: Apr 28, 2021
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #48

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Wesley Craig, Lee Loughridge
It's 1987. Marcus Lopez hates school. His grades suck. The jocks are hassling his friends. He can't focus in class. But the jocks are the children of Joseph Stalin's top assassin, the teachers are members of an ancient league of assassins, the class he's failing is "Dismemberment 101," and his crush has a double-digit body count. Welcome to the most brutal high school on earth, where the world's top crime families send the next generation of assassins to be trained. Murder is an art. Killing is a craft. At Kings Dominion School for the Deadly Arts, the dagger in your back isn't always metaphorical. Collecting the first arc (DEADLY CLASS #1-6) of the most critically acclaimed new series of 2014, by writer RICK REMENDER (BLACK SCIENCE, Fear Agent) and rising star artist WESLEY CRAIG (Batman). Experience the 1980s underground through the eyes of the world's most damaged and dangerous teenagers.
In Shops: Jul 16, 2014
SRP: $9.99
PREVIEWS Page #238

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Wesley Craig
Marcus Lopez is settling into life at Kings Dominion for the Deadly Arts, a secret elite school, to train the next generation of assassins. He has a girl, a circle of friends, and he's learning a trade: the craft of killing. But his murderous past is about to catch up with him, and there are a few things about Marcus that even his friends don't know. Secrets that threaten the lives of everyone around him. Because there's a reason Marcus was sought out by the school's shadowy principal Master Lin, a man who's long had an eye for Marcus's unique talents. Continuing the story of a group of damaged, deranged, and struggling teenagers living through one of the country's most vibrant and chilling eras. Collecting DEADLY CLASS #7-11.
In Shops: Feb 27, 2019
SRP: $16.99

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Wesley Craig
When homeless orphan Marcus Lopez was asked to join a shadowy school specializing in training the next generation of the world's deadliest assassins, he figured he had nothing left to lose. He was wrong. Now, Marcus and his one-time lover Maria are thrown to the wolves when a Mexican Cartel, the family of a classmate they were forced to kill, comes gunning for revenge. The true costs of the life he's chosen to live are only just dawning on Marcus. Incapable of staving off the ravages of love, life, and death, he plunges headfirst into a black pit of drugs, sex, and self-destruction. And just when things seemingly can't get any worse, Finals Season descends on the school. And in this world final exams can be murder!

Continuing the cult-hit dark teen drama, writer Rick Remender and artist Wes Craig take readers on the darkest road through 1980s San Francisco, and the kids that ruled its streets.
In Shops: Oct 07, 2015
SRP: $14.99
PREVIEWS Page #226

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Wesley Craig
It's 1988 and Marcus Lopez's first year at Kings Dominion, the elite academy where damaged teenagers are forged into the world's deadliest assassins, is coming to a close, and the final exam. Pass or Fail, no one survives the Freshman Finals without getting blood on their hands. Collects DEADLY CLASS #17-21.
In Shops: Mar 06, 2019
SRP: $16.99

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Wesley Craig
It's morning in America, and those who lived through last arc's brutal finale barely have had time to consider what they've done before a new class of kids enroll in the school, eager to pick up the bloody mantle. Sophomore survivor Saya Kuroki is given a chance to ascend in the ranks of the school's deadliest and most ruthless students, and all it will cost her is what's left of her humanity. RICK REMENDER & WES CRAIG present a new beginning to the dark saga of DEADLY CLASS. Collecting DEADLY CLASS #22-26.
In Shops: Mar 15, 2017
SRP: $14.99
PREVIEWS Page #254

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Wesley Craig
The freshman class has gotten a bloody welcome to Kings Dominion, as the newly empowered student council holds brutal sway over the hallways and dorms. If you're not part of the group, you're part of the body count. Meanwhile, Saya's own mysterious past comes back to haunt her. Betrayal and subterfuge are around every corner. And far from the bloodshed are Marcus and Maria, rare survivors of the deadliest school on earth, harboring dark desires for revenge.
Don't miss the darkest and most revealing chapter of RICK REMENDER & WES CRAIG's smash-hit series DEADLY CLASS. Collects DEADLY CLASS #27-31.
In Shops: Dec 20, 2017
SRP: $16.99
PREVIEWS Page #207

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Wes Craig
Marcus and Maria have resurfaced, and with them a whole ocean of bad blood crashes on the shores. Shabnam and the Student Council are out to put Marcus and Maria in the grave for good this time, Saya's maniacal brother Kenji stokes the flames of hatred, and in the shadows of those flames looms Headmaster Lin, waiting to reward whoever is left standing with a place by his side-or a sharp knife in the back. It's 1989 and the era is drawing to a close, but it's going to take as many poor bastards with it into oblivion as it can. Collects DEADLY CLASS #32-35.
In Shops: Aug 22, 2018
SRP: $16.99
PREVIEWS Page #55

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Wes Craig
The crew returns to Kings Dominion to discover things have changed in their absence. The program has changed. Master Lin's schemes revealed. Betrayal. Mystery. The secret of the catacombs beneath the school. A reckoning for the corrupt. Our friends try to hold everything together as Freshman Finals loom ever closer... RICK REMENDER and WES CRAIG's darkly humorous look at the 1980s underground comes full circle. Collects DEADLY CLASS #36-39, FCBD 2019 DEADLY CLASS KILLER SET (ONE-SHOT).
In Shops: Jul 31, 2019
SRP: $16.99
PREVIEWS Page #69

IMAGE COMICS
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Wes Craig, Jordan Boyd
The Sophomore exam draws near as another year comes to a close in RICK REMENDER and WES CRAIG's smash-hit series. Collects DEADLY CLASS #40-44.
In Shops: Jun 17, 2020
SRP: $16.99
PREVIEWS Page #70

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Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes BAMN, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.


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