Shortly after the fall of the raging mutant, Monty, guitar bum Weasel is lauded as the hero of a practically leveled London. Amongst the confusion, Weasel desperately calls for an absent Verity Fette, the graphic designer who has grown literally intoxicated by her reality-warping powers. Meanwhile, undercover agent Jeb Mulgrew attempts to apprehend a would-be terrorist cell. Unbeknownst to the operative, the ring leader is infected with G-plus, mutation due to rampant nuclear radiation. After an ensuing battle, Jeb confirms that the aftermath of the infamous D-Bomb is far more widespread.
Beneath the grit and gruff lies a tale of immense wit. Montynero’s writing is precise and on point, infusing political commentary with pop culture allusions to produce a story with far more staying power. Though Weasel is largely absent for this first outing, Jeb and Verity do wonders to keep the sardonic humor alive, despite an ocean of distance.
However, Death Sentence London wouldn’t really work without an apt illustrator capturing the English underbelly. Simmonds is an expert in his craft, as characters are simultaneously detailed and mirage-like. Similarly, any scene featuring the capabilities of Verity lay the sheets for an orgy of psychedelic imagery and color.
The creators of the comic do well to draw out, sometimes in painstaking detail, the political repercussions of the story’s events. CNN populates many of the panels, as well as social media, and the issue’s final shot is that of an e-reader featuring an argumentative article against federal response to the G-plus crisis. Just as the general public in X-Men painted mutants as social pariahs, Death Sentence: London questions a much more hostile, socially-relevant designation: Terrorists.
Scenes of intense body horror spur up periodically. Armed with a gene-warping substance, American police attempt to overload individuals with a lethal dose of mutagens. Unfortunately, it warps them into crazed, unidentifiable killing machines before their time is up. Any fan of the Dead Space franchise or John Carpenter’s The Thing will find plenty to chew on.
Death Sentence London is crazy fun and relentlessly awesome. It boasts a bit of a rockstar flair without ever taking itself too seriously. Comic lovers rejoice, for the rollercoaster to Hell has come for a second go-round. Just be sure to take it easy on the Fireball before hopping aboard.