Filed under: Exquisite Reviews | Tags: Alasdair Stuart, Death Sentence, G-Plus, Jimmy Betancourt, Mike Dowling, Monty, Montynero, Titan, Verity, Weasel
Covers and script by Montynero
Art by Mike Dowling
Lettering by Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Published by Titan
The bad news is you’re G-Plus The good news is your super power Is to have a SuperCard Go! That means this is £1.99 instead of £2.20!
So the bad news is you’re a G Plus carrier. That means you got the virus through unprotected sex with a carrier. There’s no cure. You have six months to live.
The good news? For those six months you’re going to be a superhuman.
Montynero’s script hits some really interesting stylistic ground. Normally you’d expect a story like this to be solidly in Misfits territory but this is closer to Utopia. We get three very different takes on it here, the loudest of which is Monty. Monty is a long haired, massively famous and overarticulate stand up comedian who (may) be G-Plus and is using the six months he has left to cement his legacy and have sex as much as possible. He’s an interesting figure, and he’s so at peace with the death sentence that it may well turn out to be a marketing ploy. Either that or he’s an incredibly intellectually strong person. Either way, he’s every over articular self-righteous comic you’ve ever hated and, like many of them, he’s really charismatic.
Weasel is a legend in his own lunch time. A rock star with a hit under his belt and a case of writer’s block as big as his ego, Weasel’s record company view the diagnosis as a marketing windfall. After all, everyone loves a dead legend. The only problem is Weasel is still very much alive and very much in hock to some very large, unfriendly loan sharks. He’s the frantic flip side of Monty, a man running headlong at the rest of his life largely because he can’t face who he is. Monty may be using the virus as a marketing tool but Weasel? Weasel’s using it like a motorbike. One he stole. And is handcuffed to.
Then there’s Verity; precise, neat, gifted and doomed. Verity is where the emotional weight of the issue sits and her horror at her impending death, and everyone else’s bovine ignorance of it, is perfectly handled. Verity’s furious, doesn’t care who knows it and wants some answers. She’s the character the plot hangs off and that’s one of the reasons the book works as well as it does. Monty and Weasel are fun, Verity could be us. You’re rooting for her from the first time you see her.
These three, and their shifting viewpoints, allow Montynero to build a world without being obvious about it. We see how the G-Plus virus is being accepted and see what the general public don’t; that the power levels G-Plus sufferers exhibit are variable and Verity and Weasel are both off the charts. This is where the Utopia tone comes in, with the closing pages implying a much larger story. Coupled with Weasel’s glorious moment of power it give the book a unique feel.
That’s rounded out by Dowling and Betancourt on art duties. The art is pragmatic, grounded and expressive with some fantastic use of colour whilst the lettering walks us through all three viewpoints without ever making it seem like we’re being dragged.
Together, they make this an intensely clever, flamboyant book about the worst, and possibly best, moments of its character’s lives. Jet black, cheerfully nasty and hugely ambitious, Death Sentence is a perfect fit in Titan’s inventive, punky line. Get it now, before Weasel sings at you.
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