DEATH SENTENCE OGN
Writer: Monty Nero
Artist: Mike Dowling
Publisher: Titan Comics
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka – Optimous Douche, Ain’t It Cool News
We all contemplate the question, “why am I here” eventually in life. But the question becomes even more poignant when it is posed with a definitive expiration date set upon our exit. As normal humans the majority of us create our benign bucket lists with a few outliers trying to make one final mark in the foolish belief their actions will be remembered against the vast backdrop of human existence. DEATH SENTENCE flips this model. People infected with the G+ virus will eventually see system shut down before they check out 6 months after infection, but prior to that they get to live the life of pure comic book fantasy with a burst of greatness before they are finally extinguished.
Even though G+ is a global virus, we are told the 6 chapters of the OGN from those that will be most remembered when alien archeologists go through the records of this time period. Where most will get powers on the level of Grant Morrison contrived mutants; Weasel, Verity and Monty transcend the ordinary and in the process raze the world. What you unleash from G+ is tied to imagination, essentially in how and what ways can you see and manipulate the atomic kaleidoscope of the universe. Through these characters, Nero not only fucks up the Western Hemisphere on grand comic scale, he does it through the looking glass of those that torture themselves by creating.
Verity is by far the sympathetic epicenter of DEATH SENTENCE because she is most like us before the plague. I know a million Veritys, artists who sell their soul to graphic design jobs and sweat shop printers by day so they can keep food on the table at night. Her story is the most tragic because all she really wants is to have a life of normality. Weasel and Monty were special in our oh so Kardashian sense of the word prior to contracting G+. Weasel the rocker and Monty the Russell Brand type comedian/personality are distant from us, but Nero wisely chooses to show us snippets of their lives before and outside of the celebrity so we are fully vested in the end of days.
Most artists are slightly crazy, it just seems to be a side of effect of seeing into string of the universe where they can pluck ideas and give them tangible form. Monty is the hyperbole of the hyperbole. Since his career was based upon the shock of his words and sexual exploits, his was the most dangerous contraction of the disease. A man essentially whose bucket list had but one line item: anarchy.
Before you hate too much on Monty though, his rise to power is hilarious and his control of London though quite cruel, was also hilarious in the darkest sense of the word.
Weasel and Verity become the task force to take him out, but not before there own more personal trials and tribulations inside a facility meant to cultivate the finest of G+ powers to their fullest potential.
DEATH SENTENCE is one of the truest representations of super powers appearing overnight. The class lines would be instantly divided, the powerful would overcome the weak (even for a laugh) and like any other time in history there would be a culling before a new age could dawn.
I read the first issue of DEATH SENTENCE many moons ago and remembered loving the raw humanity almost more than the super powers. Like I was embarking on an “Angels In America” type journey without all of the bad Flock of Seagulls haircuts on the dying. What I realized after absorbing all 6 issues and the bevy of extras like a Q&A with the team dissecting pivotal moments, was that DEATH SENTENCE was going to transcend death to also unveil the meaning of life. Mission accomplished gents.