The G-virus is a sexually transmitted disease that gives its host 6 months of super powered freedom after which they die.
It is basically a super soldier version of HIV that grants individuals Metahuman status for the last 6 months of their lives. This book gives us three characters that show the reader the good and bad that comes with superpowers combined with the “YOLO” lifestyle. This read is a fast paced action packed graphic novel that will leave you with mixed feelings as it concludes.
Right from the start, you immediately know that this book is for mature readers. The dialogue contains enough cuss words to make a pirate blush. The book focuses on three main characters: Verity is a graphic designer that quits her job in a rather “Fashionable” way. She has a hard time accepting that she has contacted the G-Virus. Her anger soon triggers her ability, which leads to her becoming a hunted fugitive. Weasel was a member of one of the most popular rock groups ever, but since they have disbanded he is struggling with his solo career. He is making music that only he and his groupie booty-calls enjoy. He is trying to be a good father, but he is just too irresponsible.
His life changes for the worse when his powers activate during one of his “sexcapades”, leading to the gruesome death of a young girl. Then there is Monty, a character that epitomises evil. He is a comedian and media mogul. When the book opens and you hear his sexual confidence you think of none other than Russel Brand. So as a reader you think he is probably good with the ladies. Turns out he has contracted the G-Virus and is using his telepathic abilities to rape women as he pleases. His rise to power is definitely one of the most twisted villainous acts I have read. It is definitely one of the most unnecessary too.
Unlike Verity and Weasel, Monty has full control of his powers and is able to control his actions; he simply chooses to be the worst type of evil. His desire for power is a selfish one, one that leads him to tainting the lives of others in order to get what he wants. Verity and Weasel, on the other hand, are trying to control their powers in order to prevent themselves from harming others. This is when a secret agency takes them under their wing in an attempt to help them gain greater control of their new found powers. Following Monty’s rise to power, it is up to Verity and Weasel, two ordinary people gifted with extraordinary powers, to take down this egotistical psychopath. Out of the trio, Verity is most likely the character that readers can identify with. If you are able to identify with Monty… you have a serious problem and should be in a prison.
The art in this graphic novel is great; it presents a dark gritty story at a fast pace as it matches the speed of the narrative perfectly. The colour choices are perfect and so is the line work, giving rise to a great visual experience. But the things being shown are just too much at times as Monty Nero’s script leads Mike Dowling to draw some rather crass imagery that is totally unnecessary.
I get what “Death Sentence” is trying to do – it tries to win readers over using sex and some more sex – but you can only stand that much before it becomes a tedious desperate plea for readers to like what they are doing, simply because they were not afraid to do it. Even if you want your story to be fast paced and controversial there are more tactful ways of getting your point across. The constant orgies and rape scenes are not necessary at all. This aspect of the book made me lose interest. But once that eventually gets to be a thing of the past, you see Death Sentence for the good action read it is meant to be. It is here that you can appreciate its potential and understand just why it has become such a popular read.
With 23 pages of extras, Death Sentence Vol. 1 is definitely bang for your buck…in more ways than one. It is a great story and a great concept. It attempts to get the reader thinking about what they would do if they had the G-Virus and 6 months to live. So, what would you do if you were given the Death Sentence?