If you’ve been following Death Sentence from the beginning, the sixth issue marks the end of the first story arc. Steve actually said it best in our group review for the first issue, that “Death Sentence was the AIDS epidemic as an X-Men book.” This is 100% accurate as the G+ virus that infects its hosts as a sexual transmitted disease gives the host incredible powers, but at the same time it gives them a literal death sentence on their lives. Here’s where the story stands going into the final issue of the arc: Monty has taken over London and basically control of England. He’s killed a ton of people and scared the entire world with his craziness. Verity and Weasel have been dispatched to “kill” Monty, but really they’re just a distraction so that they can obliterate Monty from Space. Why Space? Because Monty’s influence continues to grow with time.
In this issue we see the trio of super G+ infected come face to face. Money pretty much wipes the floor with Verity and Weasel. Nothing goes to plan and Verity gets half of her face burned off in the process. This sends them running and pisses Monty off. He needs to figure out how to get to the US Navy that’s stationed outside of his range. He figures it out by killing the least creative minds, since creativity is what feeds the super G+’s. With a thought he pops the heads of adults, children and the elderly to free up his mind and expand his range. In short, he makes Magneto look like a modest serial killer.
Meanwhile Verity and Weasel get somewhere safe and Verity freaks out when she sees her face. She figures out how to “fix it” and with that she hits her proverbial wall. Her and Weasel share a moment and we as the reader get some of the best narration of the series. In fact Verity’s voice/narration runs throughout the entire issue and it’s pretty fucking great.
Monty Nero delivers a satisfying and wonderfully entertaining conclusion to the first arc. I believe this was originally just a mini-series, but due to the success of this story the series will be continuing and frankly I’m very interested. Nero has made it so that new characters can be introduced very easily in the next story arc because the character Monty has sex with tons of people and basically turned the city into a giant orgy. This means there’s tons of potentially infected people who is actually fucked up and sad when you think about it, but in terms of plot it’s a fantastic story device already built-in that furthers the story along.
One thing that I really enjoyed about the ending was Verity’s narration and how she saw the world. For a while now we’ve been listen to the character Monty’s rants and the way he views the world which is that it’s never enough. It’s never going to be enough, but here Verity manages to show him why it could have been. It’s a solid message that the arc ends on and frankly a nice change of pace from the tone of the last two issues which were grim. In a lot of ways the structure of the story has been the same as the emotional journey a terminal ill person would follow: Depression, Sadness, Acceptance and so on.
The art for this series has been some of the best in the past year rolling into this year. From Nero’s striking and iconic covers, to Mike Dowling’s stunning interior work; this series is a joy for any fan of the visual narrative and amazing art. Some of Dowling’s backgrounds are a little flat (but not too noticeable due to the incredible coloring), but when you consider the scale of the ending that he’s illustrating you’ll be more than impressed. Also I would kill for a Verity T-Shirt… just saying.
This issue is a little strange when you think about it. Sure we know now that it’s going to continue, but it’s clear that Nero wrote the series unsure if he’d be able to continue it. Thankfully he is, but when you read this issue you can see that there is a clear ending to the story and it’s very rewarding. It also makes you want to read more so I’m not surprised that we’ll be back and I can’t wait to see what the team comes up with next.
Writer: Monty Nero Artist: Mike Dowling Publisher: Titan Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/12/14