Death Sentence – Issue 5 – by Montynero & Mike Dowling (spoilers)

Death Sentence
A creator owned project

Published by Titan Comics
12th February 2014

Writer: Montynero
Art: Mike Dowling
Letters: Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt

Cover: Montynero

This is the story of three individuals infected by G+, a sexually transmitted virus that brings with it the gift of extra-normal abilities but with a six month life expectancy. Verity Fete, an artist. David ‘Monty’ Montgomery, media personality. Danny ‘Weasel’ Waissell, singer, guitarist, songwriter. All have different but amazing powers, one of them might not be playing nice.

The penultimate issue and things are certainly coming to a head. Maybe mentioning heads where the character of David Montgomery is concerned is a tad indelicate…

Ensconced in London surrounded by his enthralled subjects King Monty is sitting pretty. The USA has a strikeforce on the way. President Obama has doubts about what they intend to do.

I’m going to comment on the art first, in most of my reviews I discuss the plot and themes first and the art last but I want to bring your attention to the very expressive faces Mike Dowling draws. on page three we see a cold and sulky Weasel each panel his expressions vary but give us a consistent mood set. Page five deals with a rather reclusive Verity who is suffering from doubts and depression, her expressions hardly alter except in the eighth panel where she finally reacts to the blathering psychologist.

My point is – these are people with fully developed emotions. Mike has the storytelling skills that all comic artists need to succeed but this is increased tenfold by the acting the characters show us. Marvelous.

The lighting in pages five and six is also lovely. These pages with Verity use repeated layouts and in many cases that kills storytelling and bores the eye. In these pages though we are getting the deep sadness and doubts of a young woman facing her mortality.

Mike is serving the script well, the words Montynero is putting in to his characters’ mouths is at an emotional level most non-comic readers probably would never expect to find in a comic. These deeply emotional ‘low points’ are essential to the story. This is after all a story of three people dying from an incurable disease.

As well as deep emotional characters Montynero serves up action and humour. These elements help balance the heavy themes that run throughout the story.

This comic could all so easily be written off as a lurid sex crazed romp. To do so would be to miss almost every point of the story. This comic is about life.

 

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