Comic-book adaptations are going pretty strong these days on both the big and small screen. Two such adaptations have gone on to popularity recently, but the catch is that the two are more similar than you’d think you are. Both DEADLY CLASS and KINGSMAN are successful adaptations of graphic novels by Rick Remender and Mark Millar respectively. Both stories feature outcast protagonists who find themselves managing extraordinary talents in worlds that are quite literally trying to kill them. However, that’s not where their similarities end.

The two adaptations overlap in terms of storytelling, characterizations and even their influences too.  Read on to find out how DEADLY CLASS and KINGSMAN are actually way more alike than you’d think.

DEADLY CLASS and KINGSMAN Are Both Coming of Age Stories

In DEADLY CLASS, the plot revolves around homeless loner Marcus who’s recruited into Deadly Class Academy to learn the ways of becoming an assassin. KINGSMAN features Egsy, a troubled teen with a checkered past who’s recruited by Kingsman to become a suave intelligence operative. Both of these characters are individuals who are struggling with their identities and environments before their respective stories begin. Marcus is still harboring deep anger and resent from the death of his parents and Egsy is also dealing with the loss of his father and the legacy he left behind. In each of their stories, Marcus and Egsy find themselves motivated by these events all while attempting to discover their true potential.

What also unifies them is their desire to prove themselves as well. Marcus upon entering Deadly Class Academy finds himself an outcast and under-estimated by his peers. Egsy, when he joins Kingsman, also has to deal with the stigma of his upbringing along with his family background too. Both of these protagonists find themselves using their backgrounds to their advantage by outsmarting their peers to navigate the newfound worlds they inhabit. In the process, these two characters discover their truest selves and talents and get even closer to confronting their legacies. Oh, and they both manage not to get killed somehow which is cool too.

They Are Both Ultra-Violent

DEADLY CLASS and KINGSMAN may seem like your average teen action story from the outset.  For those in the know, however, they’re shockingly darker and more violent than you’d expect. Both adaptations maintain the ultra-violent tone of their source material for wildly entertaining yet bloody results. KINGSMAN has a stand-out sequence early on when Collin Firth has to deal with some hooligans at a bar.

Deadly Class and Kingsman
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Entertainment

The ensuing scene is much bloodier and over the top, than it’s James Bond Jr premise might suggest, and honestly, it works.  This scene not only helps set the mood and tone of KINGSMAN but allows us as viewers to realize we’re getting something different here. Also, how often do you get to see Collin Firth kick butt with an umbrella?

Action Is Prominent In Both DEADLY CLASS and KINGSMAN

DEADLY CLASS also establishes itself action-wise early on. In the pilot episode, Marcus’s first assignment is that he has to take the life of somebody he thinks doesn’t deserve to live anymore. At one point in the episode, Marcus and his friend Willie encountered a homeless man during their assignment. Marcus’s backstory comes into play here and the scene takes a turn when Marcus decides to make him his first kill. The scene is much more graphic than one might be expecting from the concept and is a significant part of the storytelling. The violence in this scene suggests a change in Marcus’s character as he’s willing to do what he has to do to adapt to his new surroundings.

Both of the action sequences of DEADLY CLASS and KINGSMAN are exciting to watch but also beneficial to their stories as well. The action of KINGSMAN allows us to shed our preconceived notions of its premise and take its story on our own terms. DEADLY CLASS’s action is not only edgy and cool but also helps to shape the arc of Marcus’s Journey.  Each of these adaptations features violence in an exciting yet significant manner towards their storytelling. They’re also equally as bloody as one another which is pretty impressive if you think about it.

DEADLY CLASS and KINGSMAN Have Mentor Characters

With any coming of age story, we always tend to get a noteworthy mentor character in addition.  For KINGSMAN and DEADLY CLASS, the mentor characters are present, and our protagonist’s relationships with them factor into the plot. In KINGSMAN Egsy is taken under the wing of Collin Firth’s character Harry Hart, who teaches him how to be a Kingsman and recognizes his full potential. The dynamic between Harry and Egsy takes on a bit of traditional comedy but reveals a strong amount of character. Harry’s relationship with Egsy’s father allows for a deeper emotional connection and makes both of our characters feel more human. The relationship Egsy has with Harry shapes him significantly as a character and fulfills his arc effectively. Marcus in DEADLY CLASS has an equally important dynamic with his mentor Saya.

Deadly Class and Kingsman
Courtesy of SYFY Entertainment

The relationship that Marcus and Saya share is complex but no less important. Both Marcus and Saya are characters suffering from their past and their shared bond adds layers to Marcus’s arc. Their dynamic is both comic and emotional as the two navigate their feelings for one another. Marcus’s relationship with Saya lets us sympathize with him more and also adds progression to his overall character. Marcus and Egsy’s relationships with their mentors are essential to us understanding them as protagonists.

While these dynamics differ, both of them connect us further to each character and add emotional weight. Both adaptations offer mentor characters that are complex and serve key roles in our protagonist’s journeys.

DEADLY CLASS and KINGSMAN Both Have Strong Female Characters

Any coming of age story needs a little romance in there to spice things up and KINGSMAN and DEADLY CLASS certainly have some hormones raging.  Kingsman’s Egsy finds himself developing feelings for fellow classmate Roxy who’s no mere damsel of distress. Marcus finds himself in a triangle when he gets involved with his mentor Saya and interest Maria. What sets these love interests apart is that they’re just as capable and resourceful as their male counterparts. DEADLY CLASS’S female leads Saya and Maria are quickly established as being strong, independent and more than capable in a fight.

Deadly Class and Kingsman
Courtesy of SYFY Entertainment

KINGMAN’S female lead Roxy has also proved herself to be highly intelligent and is featured prominently in the action itself. Both adaptations benefit from having such strong, well-rounded female characters who serve important roles in their respective stories. The dynamics our protagonists have with their love interests go beyond the usual tropes. These female characters are just as integral to the overall storytelling and outcome as our leads are. To top it off I’m pretty sure all of them know kung-fu and that’s always a plus.

They Both Have Distinct Influences

There are many elements that define DEADLY CLASS and KINGSMAN’s appeal but one such element is what they’re influenced by. KINGSMAN takes inspiration from old-school spy films — particularly from the early Roger-Moore era of James Bond. DEADLY CLASS derives influence from the John Hughes movies with traces of Tarantino and punk rock woven in. What each of these adaptations does is rework these influences into something all their own. Both stories take their influence and play against them for dramatic results.

Deadly Class and Kingsman
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Entertainment

For KINGSMAN, its campy spy influences are poking fun at the genre and paying tribute to it. This results in a spy film that acknowledges it’s genre while also modernizing it as well. Deadly Class takes advantage of it’s 80’s setting offer commentary on the time period itself. Each adaptation pays homage to their respective genre while also playing against our familiarities of them.  The overall result for both is that they define themselves as unique entries in their genres while also upending their conventions for something fresh and exciting.

Overall, DEADLY CLASS and KINGSMAN bear many similarities in common. These adaptations both stand as coming of age stories that feature protagonists finding their place within the world. They also both feature some over the top action, strong female characters, and some unique influences too. Both serve as accessible adaptations of their source material as well. All in all Deadly Class and Kingsman are alike in many ways but the one thing they have in common the most is both of them are well worth your time.

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