By Monty Nero & Mike Dowling
The new series Death Sentence turned out to be a surprise hit when the first issue was released last month. This series follows one of the most interesting and unique takes on superpowers available. Potential concerns about the depth and substance of this story have been put to rest with issue #2. This was a great issue that gave a more solid direction to the plight of the main characters and fleshed out their true personalities a lot more clearly.
Having contacted the G+ sexually-transmitted virus, the three protagonists each begin to deal with the consequences in radically different ways from one another. This added a lot of variety to Death Sentence #2 and really helped keep things interesting throughout. While the G+ virus leaves its victims with only months to live, they get to do so in possession of some incredible powers. Each of the protagonists uses their new abilities in a very different manner, which remains consistent with how they seem to be dealing with their infection to begin with. However, it is the similarities and contrasts between each of these characters that make the story flow so well and allow it to cover so much ground within this one concept. David Montgomery is handling his own situation with a stoic disposition, shrugging off any serious consequences while indulging in his wildest fantasies, aided by his new powers of persuasion. Verity Vette is emotionally distraught, and rightfully so. She is psychologically devastated by her current predicament, which is further reflected in the confusion she experiences over her own powers. The character of Danny Waissell seems to embody the line standing between the other protagonists; he is wild, hedonistic, and self-indulgent, while he is also shown to be troubled by despair and hopelessness in this second installment. Again, it is the contrasting personalities and character traits of these central players that provide a lot of depth to this issue, and also leave a sense of sincere introspection. Monty Nero has shown he knows how to layer a plot through contrasting view-points that also form a cohesive whole.
The artwork of Mike Dowling is suitably gritty, which fits the grim tone present throughout most of this issue. Despite this, there are some great character details that further enhance the raw emotion that runs rampant throughout Death Sentence #2; the look on Danny’s face when he learns his ex-wife won’t let him see his son before he dies is a palpable and gripping example of this. Furthermore, when the lead characters really start digging into their powers, the accompanying visuals appear just as fantastic as they would to the individuals witnessing them as the real-world grit which dominates most of the issue is punctuated by these magical moments.
Death Sentence #2 introduced a lot of new plot developments; the many exciting additions can scarcely be covered in a single review. However, there are many interesting new mysteries that have been presented this month involving a secret island, a clandestine group of G+ tracking agents, and an assortment of other story goodies. This series is really living up to its potential to do something different while maintaining a sense of depth and subtle sophistication.