Many of us would like to have super powers. But what if they were acquired through a sexually transmitted disease? Oh, and after contracting the virus you only have six months to live. That’s the premise behind Death Sentence, a new series, originally printed in Clint magazine, coming out in October from Titan Books. Major Spoilers has your advanced look.
Great, original premise
Hooks the reader
Characters slightly unlikeable
Some humor seems juvenile
Previously in Death Sentence: G-Plus. A virus transmitted through unprotected sex or sharing of needles with an infected person. After contraction people acquire super powers, but it comes at a price. In six months, the infected die and there is no cure.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
If anything, Death Sentence is completely original. The whole basis behind the book is something I’ve never seen before and it’s a great twist on super powers. Super powers transmitted through an STD giving you only six months to live? Makes you think for a second, doesn’t it. The book looks to be focusing less on the powers and more how the characters will use their remaining months. That’s quite a heavy topic and the comic clearly will mirror real life and the repercussions of contracting a deadly STD. Though the idea behind Death Sentence is great, the book does stagger a bit. We’re introduced to three characters, each having contracted the virus and dealing with it in their own way. The problem is none of the characters are particularly likeable. The young woman, Verity is the most relatable to the reader and she comes off badly in the beginning. Hopefully this is a set up to show their growth later in the series. Obviously, this is a mature readers book with mature ideas and themes. I’m not a prude by any means but becoming a father over a year and a half ago has made me more sensitive (for lack of a better term) to certain things. There is a lot of sex in this book. Characters have sex, talk about sex or think about sex often throughout the issue and while it gives the reader a sense of why they have contracted the G-Plus virus, it feels a little excessive. The humor in the book is also mature in tone but some comes off as juvenile. One scene shows the morning after a character has slept with a nun resulting in her cross having been inserted into a certain orifice. While I honestly chuckled, it still seemed like an unnecessary scene. All this aside, I am eager to read more as we’re given a glimpse at some of the powers and it will be interesting to see why the virus has become acceptable to society and how these characters will use the powers given to them.
SOME COOL IDEAS
Mike Dowling’s work reminds me of Antonio Fuso, the artist on G.I. Joe: Cobra. I enjoy this style and its initial simplicity, but when you take the time to look, you see the unique details thrown in. While Dowling’s layouts are well done, if not completely original, they still make for a unique reading experience. There are lots of cool elements too, like musical notes similar to that on sheet music coming out of the musician’s speakers. It’s good art and gives the book a look that stands out as much as its premise.
BOTTOM LINE: CHECK IT OUT
I love the premise and ideas presented in Death Sentence and it definitely has me hooked. While this first issue didn’t floor me, the problems don’t deter me from wanting to read more. It will be nice to see the characters continue to cope with their predicament and, hopefully, use their powers to shed some of their negative qualities. Death Sentence is something truly unique and I suggest those looking for something different pick up the first issue when it’s released. Death Sentence #1 earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.