Here’s the first comic I’ve reviewed that I desperately would love to see as a film. Or perhaps even a television series. Death Sentence London #1-#6 is a chaotically creative, sex-fueled, superhero-themed, graphic novel that is certainly as graphic as they come. What we have here is world-building at its finest, making it unsurprising that this work from Titan Comics has become a bestselling piece. And also, unfortunately, this piece has become all the more timely. Relax, I’m not getting political here.
There are a ton of creators connected to Death Sentence London. So bear with me as I list them out. ‘Cause they deserve credit here. The script is written by award-winning writer and artist Montynero, who designs the novel’s covers, and is responsible for the art direction. Martin Simmonds and Mike Dowling aid Montynero in the cover designs while Simmonds also is responsible for the novel’s artistic vision.
Death Sentence London is lettered by Jimmy Bentancourt and Albert Deschesne and edited by Andrew James with Kirsten Murray (acting as the assistant editor). Lastly, Russ Seal and Rob Farmer aid in the character designs developed by this team throughout. All culminating in what has become one of Titan Comics’ most popular works. And it’s not hard to see why. Even though I would suggest this is a comic that you should certainly take your time with. Cause there’s a lot to digest.
Ok, let’s get to the plot. Death Sentence London #1-#6 tells the story of various characters dealing with the aftermath of a horrific tragedy and a present-day global catastrophe. Which is one of the most unique aspects of this graphic novel. The reader catapults right into a world in which three young people; Verity, Weasel, and Monty, suffer from a virus that gives them incredible powers. The virus, known as G-Plus is very contagious, and those diagnosed with it die within six months.
While Weasel and Verity mainly keep their unique abilities to themselves, Monty, the most powerful of the three, destroys almost all of London. His crimes include murdering the heads of state such as the Queen, Prime Minister, and over a million citizens, including Weasel’s son. Setting Weasel and Verity off to stop Monty’s reign of terror alongside American international task forces. Leading to Verity seemingly being killed by Monty but Weasel killing Monty after an Epilson bomb weakens the “manipulative bastard”.
So this is the aftermath of all of this. London is in shambles and the world is panicking over this G-Plus virus which is infecting people through sexual activity. Prompting the Mayor of London Tony Bronson to ban sexual activity for all G-Plus victims and to impose significant restrictions on these victims’ civil rights as well very heavy regulations on social network sites. By the way, seriously, read this graphic novel, and then tell me who Tony Bronson looks like. Not a coincidence, or at least not in this reviewer’s opinion.
However, the restrictions just heighten civil unrest, and, as the virus continues to spread, we see a class war like no other. Meanwhile, the FBI authorizes several missions throughout the six books, employing the likes of Agent Jeb Mulgrew. Mulgrew’s work continually puts his life in jeopardy and takes a heavy toll at home. Constantly away from his wife and daughter, Jeb’s life slowly unravels and he becomes more enveloped in his work. Which includes a dangerous mission to an island where British scientists are developing a cure for G-Plus.
Verity and Weasel, on the other hand, are continually grappling with their current predicaments. Weasel, for the most part, still languishes in his own grief, mourning the death of his son. While Verity tries to figure out why she has been in so many past failed relationships. The two try to channel their sorrow through their work, Verity as an artist and Weasel as a musician. But there’s only so much that that accomplishes in their rundown districts of Southwark and Brixton. All the while, the two are continually hunted by government agencies across the world and have to tussle with anarchists and rebels roaming about London.
Despite all of this information, I have just described a fraction of the plot of Death Sentence London #1-#6. There are numerous storylines that all revolve around a world descending into chaos, bringing into questions themes such as local government’s balancing personal liberty with public health. That sounds timely, doesn’t it?! Regardless of where you fit on the spectrum. And, of course, everything in this novel is a lot more extreme.
In addition, Montynero and his team create news headlines and articles detailing what is happening in the streets. Giving light to the power the press still holds over a society that is on the brink. And further adding to the group’s success in their world-building mission. Overall, this miniseries is terrific. It is one of the best graphic novels I have read this year. By this year, I mean 2021, which I’m still in when writing this review. So if you’re into graphic novels at all, check this out. Actually, not if you’re a kid, this isn’t for kids! And if you are not into graphic novels, you’re missing out.