By Monty Nero & Mike Dowling
The Titan Comics mini-series, Death Sentence, has been a pretty wild ride so far. Things like this get said fairly often, but this series really does have a story unlike anything else out there; sexually-transmitted disease and superpowers? Yes, the concept is pretty ‘out there’, but damn, this book has some real substance to it.
The three main characters have all been dealing with their G+ infection and the resulting powers in very different ways. However, the end of last installment and most of issue #3 introduced a side to this story that was really unexpected. The fact that some secret government agency is rounding up exceptionally powered G+ individuals has brought a whole new aspect to Death Sentence that made the story even more exciting this month. It looks like we may soon see the protagonists brought together in the near future. However, some major hurdles will have to be crossed before ‘Monty’ can be similarly captured. Did I mention he used his powers of persuasion to take over a whole country? The story crafted by Monty Nero is getting more exciting with each passing issue and the latest installment was thoroughly thrilling, while also really moving the plot forward.
Mike Dowling’s artwork is difficult to fully describe, but it adds a lot to this series. Some of the panels in this issue were particularly realistic and haunting, such as the moment when ‘Monty’ first enters the Queen’s chambers. Again, the characters in particular look great and the facial expressions are executed with perfection. Other moments are illustrated with charming simplicity and minimalism, but the overall book still manages to feel consistent and well-suited to the story at hand. There were also some wonderful panel transitions and juxtapositions, like the pair of shots showing ‘Monty’ breastfeeding followed by an older version taking part in some carnal delight. The similarities in the panel of him at the table as a child, and later as an adult really add to the flow of the grim backstory.
Death Sentence is definitely different. Luckily, the story doesn’t rely on gimmicks or shock value; this really is a well-composed story with twists and turns in the plot and some very interesting characters. Titan Comics have been releasing some really interesting work recently, but Death Sentence is definitely at the top of the list.