I’m not sure how it happened but some how, I got on Titan Comics‘ radar.

Not that that’s a bad thing by any stretch. Titan has slowly been putting together a diverse and very interesting roster of titles. Using a combination of familiar characters like Tank Girl to new titles and a few licenses, they caught my attention. And through some sort of luck, I ended up on their press list which lead me to be able to review the first issue of their up-coming book, Death Sentence.

The concept of Death Sentence is that there is an STD going around unlike any other. It kills you but before it does, it gives you super powers. We follow three people (an artist who isn’t making it, a rock star who is burnt out and a media personality) as they find out they’ve got six months to live but are going to get something pretty awesome in exchange.

You’ve got to admit, the premise is an interesting one. What would you do in your last days if you were given super human abilities? What would you do if you weren’t given a choice?

Written by Monty Nero and drawn by Mike Dowling, it’s an interesting first issue.

Right away the major details are given to us; what the G+ STD does, our three main characters are introduced and at the end, we’re left with a solid cliffhanger that makes you curious about what will happen next. Dowling’s art is really good. He reminds me of guys like Sean Phillips (Criminal, Fatale). Not incredibly flashy but solid storytelling and a look that’s different then the competition. After reading this book, I really wanted to seek out the work he’s done for 2000 AD.

In terms of story, it was a decent first issue. Not the best I’ve ever read but fairly solid. Monty Nero’s pacing and story hold ups fairly well. Nothing seems rushed or stretched out too far. The concept of Death Sentence is one that can easily stray into stupid territory quick but it’s all handled incredibly well. It’s not presented as some rude joke.

To be honest, my only issue with the book is some of the dialogue.

Mark Millar kind of set the stage for this type of book with his work on The Authority, Kick-Ass and Nemesis. To be fair, I think plot wise, at least in issue 1, Death Sentence definitely handles itself better than Nemesis. But it’s pretty obvious that Monty Nero is also heavily influenced by Millar’s dialogue, especially in certain moments like when the artist quits her job in a flourish of swearing and insults. There’s not a lot of them but enough to take you out of the moment. I’m hoping that the more he writes, the more  Monty Nero will find his own voice at which point Death Sentence has the potential to become something really different.

Would I pick up issue 2?

Yes.

Depending on how the second issue went would determine if I would continue until the end of the series but as I said, this looks promising and could be something really good by the end. This is a really early review as we won’t see the series hit stores until October but I have a feeling you’ll hear about it then too.

If you’re going to geek out, GEEK HARD!

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