With the DVD of the Syfy action drama available in stores, let's check out the 10 major differences between the comic book version of the Image Comics title and Season 1 of Deadly Class. Imagine being accepted into the most brutal high school and having to keep up with your murderous classmates. Not only does a student at Kings Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts has to get passing grades, the teachers also demand a large body count during the semester. Marcuz Lopez realizes he has to become another assassin in a classroom full of future psychopaths, serial killers, and crime lords.
With their comic book, writer Rick Remender, artist Wesley Craig, and colorist Lee Loughridge took readers on a violent and nostalgic trip into the '80s underbelly of music, action, and crime. As a new student attending Kings Dominion, not only does Marcus (played by Benjamin Wadsworth) have trouble making friends, he also has a crush on the mysterious Saya (Lana Candor), who belongs to the very notorious crime syndicate in Japan. While these teenagers are disillusioned with and dangerous to society, Master Lin (Benedict Wong) rules the entire school with an authoritative fist.
The television show gave secondary characters from the comics much more screen time. A chance to explore other players, Petra (Taylor Hickson) is better developed than just a simple goth girl. Uninhibited and unrestrained, Petra (Hickson) wanted to free herself from ordinary relationships by having a threesome with Liam James (Billy Bennet) and Lex Miller (Jack Gillett). This love triangle wasn't in the comics, since Petra becomes romantically involved with Marcus. Petra ends up with Marcus, who feels lonesome after being ditched at a party. Petra and Marcus have more of a platonic friendship on the show, which leads to her helping out in the fight against Chester Wilson (Tom Stevens).
9 Henry Rollins
The comic book rarely spent time developing the teachers inside Kings Dominion. Because the show could spend more screen time with other characters, viewers were able to understand why these academic teachers taught their students how to kill. Henry Rollins, the former lead singer of the punk band Black Flag, was brought in to play the role of Jurgen Denke, the toxicology professor. After 20 years of poison teaching, Jurgen (Rollins) has become disenchanted with Kings Dominion and argues with Lin (Wong) about how rebellion becomes manipulated to conform to its master.
In the fifth episode, "Saudade," Marcus suddenly finds himself on a hallucinatory road trip to Las Vegas after taking a few samples of LSD. This is one of the rare times Craig became involved behind-the-scenes with the director and set up the storyboards for the animation work. Marcus' surreal acid trip is an innovative mix of live-action and animation, which comes straight from Craig's own drawings. In the pilot, animation is used again to depict Marcus's tragic story and elaborate how he lost both his parents. The animated flashback sequence is different because the design is supposed to look similarly to Craig's art style.
7 Gun Violence
In the comics, rival groups, from the Soto Vatos to the F.W. O. (First World Order), would routinely take out their firearms. These gang members are aiming their guns at other students in school property. Though the time period takes place during the 1980s, the show creators had to change the display of guns at school. Today's ongoing issues with gun control and school violence would have plagued production and viewers if this change wasn't made on the show. In the fourth episode, "Mirror People," Saya (Candor) has to use her wits when her sword is taken way during detention and the school is infiltrated by the Yakuza.
6 The Scorpio Slasher
Known for his comedic work on 3rd Rock from the Sun, French Stewart stole the show during his guest appearances as the menacing and clever Scorpio Slasher. Though the Scorpio Slasher was locked up in chains, he still taught a lesson to Marcus' class as the instructor of Fundamentals of Psychopathy. Unfortunately, The Scorpio Slasher was let loose during the search for Chester Wilson (Stevens) and disappeared at the end of the episode, "Rise Above." Due to the open-ending, viewers are supposed to assume Stewart was meant to have a bigger role to play in the second season.
5 Willie Lewis' Backstory
Though Remender was co-showrunner and the lead writer of his own adaptation, the show made certain changes to Willie Lewis (Luke Tennie) to make him a more defined character. Because Willie (Tennie) belonged to a different gang, he didn't really strike a friendship with Marcus until they were away from prying eyes. In the comics, Willie had to deal with his own mother being held prisoner in Folsom. Willie had a more complicated and tragic backstory on the show. In his new backstory, Willie's mother is more involved and says her son killed rival gang members, after they murdered his father.
4 Saya's Kill
In the first volume of the comic, titled Reagan Youth, Marcus finds himself on the run and surrounded by the police. While riding into the page on her speeding motorcycle, Saya uses her sword to slice and kill a police officer. In the editing room, when the show recreated this moment from the comic, executive producers Joe and Anthony Russo (Avengers: Endgame) had notes on Saya's cold-hearted murder and the scene being too faithful to the comics. The audience is supposed to like Saya instantly, but her brutally killing a police officer comes off too harsh.
3 The Music
The show found a creative way to incorporate music that just couldn't be done in the comic book medium. In the seventh episode, entitled "Rise Above," Maria Salazar (María Gabriela de Faría) was forced to come up with a possible suspect after Chico's death. With pressure mounting for payback, Maria ended up assassinating a member of the Kuroki Syndicate. Her one murder suddenly turned into an unexpected killing spree as the nightclub jammed to the rock music of Plastic Bertrand, with the song, "Ca Plane Pour Moi," playing in the background.
2 Willie & Saya
The show wanted to build conflict within the main characters, forming the love triangle between Saya, Marcus, and Maria (Faría). Marcus is conflicted over his feelings between Maria and Saya, especially after having slept with both of them at separate times. In the ninth episode, "The Clampdown," Willie leaves everything behind to start a new life with his girlfriend, Gabrielle. In one of the subplots from the comics, Willie starts a romantic bond with Saya, without Marcus knowing about it. By the time Marcus gets the courage to make his move and profess his love to her, Saya admits she is already in a relationship with Willie.
1 The Cliffhanger
The first season finale of Deadly Class ended on a major cliffhanger. Without Saya by his side, Master Lin was unable to protect his innocent daughter, Nahia (Viva Lee), as she was kidnapped by his sister, Madame Gao (Olivia Cheng). In the middle of their own trouble, Marcus and Maria had guns pointed their faces point-blank. The open-ending gears up viewers for a highly anticipated second season that will never happen. With the show cancelled after one season, audiences will have to learn what actually happened next by reading the second volume of the comic book.