When I was first asked if I wanted a copy of ‘Death Sentence,’ the initial teaser image was of a tattooed girl in a low cut shirt wearing a manga feeling cat hat. I had no idea about what kind of a ride artist Mike Dowling and writer Monty Nero was hinting at from it. As a sucker for a pretty face, even an illustrated one, I read on to the blurb. ‘Death Sentence’ puts us in a world where the G+ virus exists and has changed everything. This isn’t poking fun at Google+ this is a new virus that when contracted gives you 6 months to live. It also gives you some kind of super powers during those 6 months!”
Yes, the G+ virus is a sexually transmitted disease that gives super powers. It might be a little random but it gives an original idea that is both fun and pokes at how society treats celebrity. Also it points out one thing that many have faced life threatening diseases – do you give up and mope or do you go out in a blaze of glory? Two of the three characters decide to go out in a blaze of glory but their version of a blaze is very different than what you might equate to people who were just given super powers and a limited lifespan.
Being that this concerns a sexually transmitted disease you can bet your bottom dollar that there is going to be a lot of sex in this one so if you aren’t open to that you’ll probably want to head back now.
So what exact powers can you get? It varies from person to person but it can stem from just being stronger and more artist to actually having the ability of flight and mind control.
In the book we follow three main characters. Verity, Weasel, and Monty. There is also a view on the inner workings of secret government agencies as well as how the world responds to super powered humans popping up all over the place.
Verity is a graphic designer who has made a mistake in her life that has caused her to contract the G+ virus and most likely is the reason that her ex hates her and won’t speak with her.
Weasel is a rock star who can’t really sing, has left his band, and really only cares about getting wasted and having sex. Having sex hasn’t seemed to slow down once he contracted the virus either as groupies don’t seem to care what may happen with him and just want their brush with fame.
Finally Monty is a stand up comic who has learned that he has the virus and with only 6 months to live has decided he wants to do everything he can before he dies. Unfortunately for Britain he has the ability to control minds and things don’t go too well from there.
While there is sex a plenty there are a lot of good messages found within. The novel does address how we treat celebrity as one of the key points, but it also addresses the themes of society, family, addiction, and problems in various governments across the globe.
It’s really an interesting plot and you see bits of heroism, revenge, lust, loss, and more all wrapped up in a beautifully illustrated package.
Writer: Monty Nero
Artist: Mike Dowling