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Comic Review: Death Sentence #1
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Titan Comics: Death Sentence #1 cover by MontyneroDeath Sentence #1
Written by Montynero
Art by Mike Dowling
Letters by Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover by Montynero
Titan Comics
Release Date: October 9, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Who here hasn’t dreamed of having a superpower? Even if you won’t admit it, everyone wishes that could do something so unique and spectacular that it would set them apart from the average human. Now what if you could have a power, randomly chosen, would you do it? What if the downside is that you would only have six months to live? Not so enthusiastic about it now, are you? Well, that’s the premise to Death Sentence #1. Because of a new virus, called G-Plus, random individuals have been given a power that is slowly killing them.

Our story focuses on a few seemingly unrelated people who have all been recently diagnosed with the virus. We start off with Verity, an introverted graphic artist who is being given the diagnosis on the first page of the comic. We move quickly on to Weasel, a not-so-talented rock star who has a habit of wearing a flying helmet and goggles regardless of the activity involved. He’s also a bit preoccupied with having random sex with his groupies. Lastly, we have Monty. He seems a bit narcissistic but more crowd focused in that he plays to them in everything he does.

Their powers range greatly but seem to be rooted to some extent in their personalities. The quiet one is gifted with an extremely volatile power, whereas the untalented one exhibits the ability to become intangible. As far as the self-absorbed character, I didn’t see anything that showed off his capabilities, at least not yet.

There is also a darker undertone. Yes, darker than dying. It seems the government is registering these folks but at the same time they are analyzing their power levels and are not so discreetly trying to incapacitate some of the more talented subjects. This leads to a sudden outburst in a hospital that ends this issue with a paramilitary force being contacted for help. And while there is no definitive plot right now, I have a distinct feeling that we’ll see a lot more in the next issue. As far as this premier issue goes, though, it is a great bit of fun to read and takes a more candid look at how people from all walks of life would handle such a drastic change.

Montynero, writer and cover artist, had originally planned to release this independently but Titan Comics managed to convince him otherwise. This series will be a six issue run and features the super-talented Mike Dowling. The perfect marriage of unique story and fantastic art makes this project a sure win. The characters are flawed and are knocking on death’s door, their decisions will be heavily influenced by this and could potentially make this a wild adventure. Personally, I’m a big fan of the first character, Verity Fette, and I look forward to seeing how this pans out for her.

The great art and riveting story will have you coming back for more. Don’t let anything stand in your way, if you love noir comics then this is for you. It’s not your typical spandex and cape superhero comic, not at all. Plus there’s a bit of realism in this that most comics lack. Even the brighter colors are muted to convey the feeling of dread that is evident throughout the book, but these three characters have something more to give the reader than a sad story. Keep reading this series, it’s going to keep you guessing, I have no doubt about that at all.

But don’t just take my word for it, Mark Millar liked the concept enough to give it a debut in his CLiNT Magazine that we wrote about here.

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