Deadly Class Volume 9: Bone Machine
Rick Remender, writer; Wes Craig, artist; Jordan Boyd, colorist
Image Comics, 2020

Picking right up where the previous volume ended: no sooner had Saya and Maria reunited then they had to fight off a ninja attack. Saya had been declared a "ghost" by Master Lin. She would have been killed on the spot, but Maria claims her as her pledge. It's a somewhat hollow victory, though, as Saya finds herself treated as if she is invisible at the school. Helmut is out to avenge Petra's death: she was the only love he had ever known. The quest takes him to the bizarre death cult to which her parents belong. Marcus is in full depressive mode, endlessly ruminating on how he got to where he is now and where he wants to go. His wordy, moping interior monologues quickly grew tedious for me. A party at a remote mountain cabin becomes a massive confluence, as Helmut's revenge, Shabnam's plan for control, and a crazed warrior band also seeking revenge for Petra converge. There's a tremendous body count--including some major characters--and a changed status quo going forward.

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