Gail Williams closes out the #bestbritcomics month from Titan Comics with a look at a graphic novel which truly is the Best of British...
Would you accept superpowers if that gave you only six months to live?
Death Sentence is a collection of a six part series that tells the story of three sufferers of G+, a sexually transmitted disease that, when it matures in a body, will make the host extraordinary, gives them physical and mental prowess not normally seen in human kind.
Superpowers as a sexually transmitted disease, huh? Hell, why not? Life, after all, is a sexually transmitted disease.
Given the premise, no one should be overly surprised to hear that there is a lot of sex in this comic. Well, sex, drugs and rock and roll to be exact. Lots of it, if you’re easily offended do not read this comic.
I loved this comic.
We start with Verity, an attractive young woman with some totally awesome tattoos, as she gets her G+ diagnosis. Cut to a den of inequity, well actually it looks like a squat full of drunks and junkies and a couple of scissor sisters, someone, Weasel, has been having a very good time. Much to his brother’s and his music company’s disgust, they want Weasel to write the next big hit, just as he’s under contract to do, and preferably before he checks out from his G+ diagnosis. Only it seems that Weasel has neither the talent nor the will, not to mention the sobriety.
I love that Verity does next what most of us want to do every day, but what we’d probably all do if we got that kind of news - she goes to work and tells her boss where to shove the job - in wonderfully graphic detail.
Finally we are introduced to Monty, and somehow I doubt that the similarity between him and a certain comic that shot to fame through a crud reality show, is a coincidence. Monty really is a media whore. Pretty much a whore all round in fact, though he doesn’t get paid to get laid, nor does he seem to do much in the way of paying.
So there we have our disparate trio. Each one running from the hell of their own lives. Of course there’s a secret government agency involved, as well as kidnapping, assault and some enforced drug taking.
As the comic moves on the action ramps up, and there’s always somewhere new to go. For Monty it’s the Palace - Buckingham Palace. Here he turns the Royal Family into Scanner victims to proclaim himself King. His power of mind control is truly prestigious. His sexual powers seem to be no less impressive, but then his power is mind control.
The government would turn Verity and Weasel into weapons, or at least distractions, against Monty. As their powers manifest and grow things get more interesting. There’s invisibility, phasing, acid touch. Finally Verity gets the point, she even enlightens Monty, he just doesn’t care. The climax of the piece is truly explosive.
There’s quite a bit here that I’m not telling you, I don’t like writing spoilers, but there’s nothing in the comic I didn’t like - even the urine laced tea felt appropriate. And I adore Verity’s hat. I might actually want Verity’s hat.
The artwork in this comic is incredible (some preview pages are below), especially the cover variants. I’m also a fan of tattoo art - on other people, never having one myself - but it’s unusual to see good tats in comics because they are difficult to maintain in drawing consistently, and I’m sure that they aren’t consistent here, but they are very well done. The colour and tone, the ones on Verity are very feminine, and look particularly vibrant on those cover variants. I love good artwork, at times this feels so well drawn that it’s almost like a photo was taken and outlined.
A definite five out of five for this one. Go get it, Tiger.
The Death Sentence graphic novel is released June 25th. Individual comic books are available now from your local comic book store or digitally. Some preview art is included below.
Discover the full range of comics and graphic novels supported by Titan Comics Best of British month here.
Gail Williams lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and
the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits
and pieces are a bit wonderful. Well okay, she lives in Swansea with
her husband and daughter. And the world’s most demanding cat. To find
out more about Gail, check out www.gailbwilliams.co.uk - Dare you!