Rick Remender, the comic book writer who co-created Deadly Class with artist Wes Craig and will return to publishing the book along with colorist Lee Loughridge and letterer Rus Wooton tomorrow, will also debut the first episode of a TV series based on the comic on SYFY the same day.
While there have been less than forty issues of the series -- about half of what The Walking Dead had published by the time that show hit the airwaves -- Remender, who is writing and executive producing the show, is taking the extra real estate offered by hour-long TV episodes to expand on some of the characters who may not have been as well-rounded in the comics as Marcus, Saya, and the other main leads.
"When I booked [Deadly Class], Rick Remender sent me all the comics," Luke Tennie, who plays Willie, said during a recent set visit. "I read them all in like two days. Not just because it was my job, but because it was good. The word he kept using was unpack. He said, 'Because this is a TV medium, we're going to have a lot of time to unpack these characters, a lot of time to unpack these stories, these relationships.' He knows full well that it's a daunting task, but what's cool is they've figured out ways to space out these characters' stories without filler, so it's not senseless. It's just a deep, deep examination of who they are, why they are the way they are, why they might choose the choices, instead of just what they choose. We're seeing the intention, the purpose, the reason."
That is a sentiment echoed by Tennie's co-star Michel Duval, who plays Chico on the series.
"For me, when I got the script for the first episode, there's so much story to tell, so many characters to introduce, that I was a little confused about who Chico was," Duval told ComicBook.com. "I didn't want him to seem like just the school bully because there's so much more to that character. Also, being a Latino, I almost went to the 'yo, what's up, ese, how you doin'?' But I was like no, that's not real. That's just a stereotype. Let's give him his own presence. Let's make this villain different. Let's not make just a one-dimensional bad guy who likes to do bad things. That's boring for the audience and for the actor. Once I got the second episode, I started understanding the mindset of this character, and I saw that his real power is not his muscles, it's not his athletics, it's not that he's a really good student. His real power is his knowledge. This guy's ahead of everyone."
Deadly Class will debut tomorrow at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SYFY.