Indie Spotlight: Death Sentence

Sex, drugs, super powers, and STD’s.  From Titan Comics comes Death Sentence, a wholly original series from Monty Nero and Mike Dowling.  Originally released in Clint Magazine in 2012, Titan Comics received the rights to turn Death Sentence into a 6 issue series.  This week the series landed into a beautiful hardcover containing all six issues of this superb story.  This simply is a must read!

The writer, Monty Nero is mostly new to the USA comic scene.  Beyond Death Sentence, you can check out his most recent work in the X-Men Annual #1 and an upcoming Hulk annual.  As for the artist Mike Dowling, you may have caught some of his other work in Rex Royd and Time Warp.

Death Sentence takes place in a world where a super STD, G+, is spreading throughout the society, giving you only six months to live once contracted.  In three specific cases, the virus has granted super human abilities to the infected, Verity, Weasel, and Monty.  Verity, the most normal of the bunch, finds out she has the virus and decides to tell her boss what she really thinks about him when she quits.  Weasel is a rock superstar who is to strung up on drugs to craft any new great music, or really care that he is dying.  Monty is a famous comedian with a huge ego that wants to see the world burn around him before he goes.  The three develop special powers which get them in various degrees of trouble which the government quickly catches wind of.  Monty, however, develops the power of mind control and quickly starts to set the world on the path of anarchy.

The story is absolutely phenomenal.  We were blown away by how gripping of a tale it was.  The full graphic novel is 192 pages, with some of it being behind the scenes extras, but we could not put it down.  You might fear that a book featuring a super STD might be a little to over the top graphic, but that was not the case at all.  Sex is part of the story and does get mentioned a lot, but at the same time it is not over-gratuitous just for the sake of it.

One of our favorite parts of the book was watching how the three deal with the prospect of having only 6 months to live.  Even Monty who turns into the villain of the piece, you can’t help but feel for him slightly.  If you only had a short time left and suddenly had super powers, what would you do?  Hopefully not going around exploding people’s heads, but I think you get the point.  Knowing when you’ll die can bring out the best and worst, which is perfectly shown here.

Nero simply puts out some amazing dialogue.  Each character is fully developed and has their own unique voice, feelings, and motives.  Weasel particularly, you can’t help but love and feel sorry for.  An overall good guy who seemingly lost himself in drugs, he has one of the best arcs as he finds himself in a bad situation, but works towards a path of redemption.  As much as I could go on about him, you really could go on about Verity and Monty as well with how well crafted characters they are.

The fantastic story and dialogue is paired with amazing art from Dowling.  He does an excellent job and nails the atmosphere in the art.  The characters are wonderfully brought to life through his pencils as he brings out the range of different emotions that they go through.  When he gets to the more super hero parts of the book, the powers looks pretty incredible, especially is some of the more violent scenes when you have hundreds of people suddenly having their heads explode.

We can easily say this has been one of the best books we’ve read for awhile and recommend it for anyone looking for an amazing adult comic different from your normal super powered fair.  If you want to pick it up, the hardcover just dropped this Wednesday so you can get it in print or digital through places such as Titan Comics themselves, your local comic shop, or Amazon for an MSRP for the hardcover of $22.99.  Below check out a sneak peak of the first issue straight from Titan Comics.



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