Advance Review: Death Sentence: London #1 will be available at your LCS June 10, 2015
The thing I love most in comics is when a comic comes along and messes with your brain, gives you a strange, surreal thrill ride, has one wild, outrageous moment tumble after the next while still keeping a focus on character.
Death Sentence: London #1, listed in this month’s Previews and debuting June 10th, is the sequel to last year’s outrageous mini-series that imagined the effects on the world of most people caught a disease that gave them super-powers before killing them. What resulted was a world in which inhibitions dropped, everybody partied like debauched teenagers, and London was essentially destroyed.
This new ongoing series picks up as the previous mini ended, though a new reader doesn’t need to be familiar with the events in the previous storyline. We meet a new cast of characters here in a story that has more twists and turns than a hanging rope. The world is now feeling a hangover from its metaphorical long night of partying. A plan to bomb an IRS building takes a surprising turn, the government has created horrific-looking, Lovecraftian mutations to stop the super-beings, the London city government struggles with its response; a group of criminals is stopped by the strange Art Girl in a scene drawn with delirious surreal joy by newcomer Martin Simmonds. It’s both a reset and a continuation from the mini, setting us up for a whole set of great, loud songs after the band released just a few.
Death Sentence: London #1 is like a great punk rock song, full of anger and outrage, energy and excitement, and a bit of scorn for those who don’t understand it. Writer Montynero pulls the reader in with its delighted outrageousness then balances that boldness with a touch of humanity. There’s a scene between a cop and his young daughter, for instance, that does a lovely job of bringing this wild story back down to earth in the most pragmatic of ways. Those moments make the scenes of gaping, teeth-filled monstrous, vaginal-appearing mouths in the Cthulu creatures even more intense than they would otherwise feel.
This comic has soul and smarts, frightening creatures and frightening humans, and a premise that gets scarier the more time you spend in Death Sentence’s London. I enjoyed my trip to one of the world’s most terrifying cities.