What would you do if you learned that you had six months to live? What if you were then given incredible ability for those last six months? Both questions carry a lot of weight but Monty Nero attempts to answer those questions with Death Sentence. The story is about three people infected with the G+ virus. This virus which grants those infected with incredible powers but it will kill the host in six months. It is an interesting concept and something that demands some thought. However, Death Sentence takes such a somber idea and flips it on its head.
You see, the G+ virus is a sexually transmitted disease. It is an incredibly edgy and unique idea that makes this graphic novel something special among the lot. In addition, the G+ virus affects people differently. Some people gain the power of flight or mind control, while others may just get a little stronger or more artistic. The degree of change is drastic, but it makes it that much more interesting to see play out. It is also interesting to see how the characters cope with the situation at hand. Some of the characters decide to live that time to the fullest, while others take a more conservative approach. Seeing both sides of the debate ensures that one of the characters will relate to you and your sensibilities but seeing them unfold in Death Sentences edgy way makes the novel something worth looking at.
The story itself obviously revolves around sex since the disease is a sexually transmitted one. If that is something that doesn’t appeal to you or you prefer something a little less edgy, than you may want to look elsewhere. There are also some violent scenes that unfold, so that may be a concern for you as well. However, if you are willing to overlook the potentially objectionable material, you’ll be rewarded with a darkly compelling story with interesting underlying themes. This book breaks the traditional superhero mold and redefines the moral nature of comics as you probably know them. This isn’t about doing the right thing in the face of evil, in essence the characters have already “sinned” and now have to decide whether to live life to the fullest or live out your days quietly.
Artistically speaking, Mike Dowling takes Death Sentence down the gritty path. The pictures are more course in design and not as photo-realistic as other superhero books are traditionally drawn. However, this style of drawing more closely suits the story at large and compliments the theme of the series. It all works well together and it promises to flip the traditional comic stereotype right on its head.
In the end, if you are looking for something different and something that dares to be different, Death Sentence is the book for you. It is dark, gritty and edgy in all in the best ways possible. Death Sentence stands on its own and forces you to confront questionable moral choices which speaks to the dark side in all of us. If you dare to explore that side of yourself, check out Death Sentence #1 which is currently available now at comic retailers everywhere.