Die is about a group of friends. Back in 1991 six teenagers were dragged into a role-playing game. Only five escaped. Twenty-seven years later they are pulled back into the world of Die, as their friend that remained wants them to continue the game…
I grabbed this one based on a referral at my local shop(thanks Ka-Pow).
The cover of this book features the character of Matt, sword over his shoulder and grief etched on his face. Over top of him are a series of triangles, almost as if a twenty sided dice had been unfolded over top of him. It’s a great looking cover, but not necessarily eye-catching. It does however have a similar style to previous issues, so it does fit the style of the series.
Stephanie Hans handles the art for this issue, and it is both unique and beautiful. Emotion oozes off the pages. Matt is playing a character known as a Grief Knight, and his power is directly related to how sad he is. There is a scene where Angela is trying to depress him to charge his power up. The looks of genuine grief on the faces of both of them are palpable. As well, the images of war throughout the issue are beautiful. They’re dark and hurtful, evoking a feeling of the hell of the First World War. Plain and simple the art in this book is brilliant!
Kieron Gillen writes this as a fantasy/war drama that is just emotionally wrenching. This issue, though involving an epic battle with a dragon, also showcases the horrors of war in a heart-wrenching manner. The issue begins with our heroes being confronted by a dragon. They battle valiantly, but soon are separated.
The focus shifts to Angela, who has sought a modicum of safety in the trenches. There, she listens to a dying soldier tell her what happened to his squad, and dictate to her a letter to his family. The scene is really the emotional core of the whole book. It’s incredibly well written, and though it does provide the key to defeating the dragon, it sure doesn’t feel like it.
Though this is very much a fantasy book, this issue feels more like a character piece from a war movie. Sort of like the calm between storms. It grows Angela as a character quite a bit, and shows that in war, no one really wins.
I loved this issue. It drew me in immediately, with excellent art, and a well paced and heartfelt story. It is definitely worth picking up, though if you want to wait for the trade you’ll be able to get the whole arc in one go. Still, go read it, drink in the art, and enjoy!