Bento Review: Death Sentence

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I mentioned in my last Bento review that I had never heard of Titan Comics, the publisher of Death Sentence.

Well, it turns out they’re a British publisher, and that leads me to this book, the story that asked what a person would do if they got a disease that not only granted awesome superpowers, but also six months to live.

Yes, that is the premise here.  The virus in question is an STD, and it grants mental and physical boosts that can blossom into outright superpowers but will always kill the victim.  There’s no cure.  The book does go into a long explanation on how the virus works, but how much of that science is real science and how much was just made up I couldn’t begin to tell you.

The story here deals with three such victims.  All three live in or around London.  The first is Verity.  She’s a frustrated artist working as a graphic designer.  She seems to develop something involving bending light and electromagnetism.  Next is Weasel.  He’s a minor rock star struggling to finish his next album, and is very much into sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll, though he’s not very good at that last one.  He has some sort of density control.  And then there’s Monty.  Monty is alternately described as a “media personality” or a comedian, the kind who’s method of humor is often the low and the dark.  He develops mind control and telekinesis.

How each of the three reacts to the news varies.  Verity goes into a funk almost immediately.  Weasel sees it as a career opportunity to make some money and maybe finish that album since people with G+ often seem to develop creative abilities.  Monty, well, he wants to do whatever the hell he wants in his time remaining, and he really doesn’t care at all about other people.

See, therein lies the key.  All three kill people early on.  The biggest difference is Monty does it on purpose when he decides he wants to basically be a king.  The biggest problem is that the act of creating and working both physical and mental muscles makes the effects of the disease stronger.  Since all three are creative types, the disease will grant them all rather potent abilities given time.  Weasel may be the weakest since he prefers to dope himself out of his mind than to actually write the songs and such he’s expected to write.  That also makes sense given Weasel is characterized as an overgrown man-child whose only fondness is for his young son.

Monty Nero’s story works very well, and Mike Dowling’s art fits the tone of the book very well.  The outright casualness which Monty kills people contrasts well with the bizarre manifestations that comes from Verity’s mind.  This is no kid’s story, and it shows.

About the only issue I have for the book is the included covers often display Verity wearing far less clothing than she does in most issues.  Verity is never portrayed as the kind of character to run around wearing next to nothing, so why she gets drawn as such for the covers I don’t know.  I’m giving this one nine out of ten dead prime ministers.

NEXT TIME:  I got the first volume of a horror series from Dynamite where the main character is rocker Alice Cooper called Alice Cooper Volume 1:  Welcome To My Nightmare.  Who knows what this will bring?

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