Review: Death Sentence #4

I kind of had a problem with aspects of the last issue. I don’t know why I just did. Even though the ending was crazy and I enjoyed it there was just something that didn’t click with me. This issue however, clicked with me in a big way. I think that I just didn’t relate or like Monty’s character so spending so much time in his headspace wasn’t fun for me. This issue mostly floats around in the world and focuses on our three main characters. If you haven’t read the third issue then… well why the hell are you reading a review for the fourth issue then? Anyways, spoilers ahead for the third issue. Monty fucked the Queen of England in the last issue and then killed her and the entire Royal family and then declared himself the King of England. He was greeted by military forces at the end of the issue which is exactly where this issue picks up.

Now this is a comic so usually you’d expect Monty to take a bullet to the head or go on the run or whatever. You don’t do something so big and bold and get away with it. I can’t count how many times Magneto has taken over the world for five minutes only to lose control the minute he has to take a piss. Monty on the other hand turns the soldiers on themselves and has them open fire on one another. The military continues their assault on him, but his powers are definitely growing because the minute they reach his eye-line its game over.

Possibly my favorite line of dialogue from this issue came from the Prime Ministers cabinet meeting; his military dude (don’t pretend you care about his title) informs the Prime Minister that two squadrons of jets where lost in the attack due to Top Gun being reenacted.

“We lost four aircraft in ‘Goose related flat spin ejections.”

DeathSentence_04_CoverwebHilarious! Cue Monty as he arrives and kills the cabinet and Prime Minister and basically takes complete control over England. This affirmed one thing for me, other than the obvious of him not being the hero of this story (depending on your outlook on life): He is the definition of a villain. Why? Because he’s not the villain of his story; in fact anyone trying to stop him is the villain. Monty wants to give people true freedom from life and while he doesn’t have a single idea on how to I don’t know… sustain life without work, he’s still thinks he’s doing something good. He really is Death Sentence’s Magneto without the pee-break losing streak.

Meanwhile with our other two characters Verity and Weasel, they meet for the first time at their… freshmen orientation? Nah it’s just their introduction to the facility, but with Monty’s appearance and actions they’re now being kicked into high gear. They’re given drugs and put in a room and told to be creative and create non-stop. The feeling is that the more that they create the more the synapses in their brain will connect unlocking their full potential and give them better control over their powers.

If I’m not mistaken there’s only two more issues left for this series which sucks because I was hoping it would become an ongoing. The world is rich enough since it’s basically a modern version of the X-Men, with way more sex, it really has endless potential to continue. I suppose it depends on the ending of this series though.

Monty Nero nails it once again with this issue. Again, there was something that rubbed me the wrong way in the last issue, but that didn’t stop me from going into this issue with an open mind. This really is the strongest issue in the series thus far and that’s saying something. I thought the first two issues were pretty damn incredible, but this issue is something else.

There isn’t character development per say, but you spend enough time with the characters to better understand them. The dialogue is sharp and witty; and I don’t mean the main characters dialogue, I mean everyone’s dialogue. There were one-time characters that were realistic and funny. Honestly most dialogue should be funny. Even boring people are trying to be funny so why the fuck wouldn’t even one have something clever to say? Nero elevates this story to the next level with this issue.

A huge aspect of what makes this series work is the artwork. The covers are obviously great, but the interior, while different from the covers, is still fantastic. Mike Dowling has everything possible thrown his way in this issue: Armies destroying themselves, fighter jets, destroyed buildings, secret labs, a drunken scientist having a conversation with Monty while he’s going down on a woman… everything… EVERYTHING! Dowling is seriously impressive with his range of subjects covered in this issue. He also keeps up his impressive amount of details on the page as well. Even with all the chaos caused by Monty (the character) he manages to make it look beautiful.

I wish I had found a spot for Death Sentence on our “Best of” list but there were too many choices last year, but it was a strong contender in my book and that doesn’t mean that this isn’t one of the best damn titles currently being published. If this was a monthly book I don’t think I’d ever need to read the X-Men again.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Monty Nero Artist: Mike Dowling Publisher: Titan Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/8/14