After Isabelle ousted the party for destroying Glass Town, our heroes resign themselves to Angrian prison. Find out in Die #9 by Image Comics if they can escape their cells and return home!
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Colorist: Stephanie Hans and Elvire de Cock
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor Chrissy Willaims
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 6th, 2019
Previously on Die: Die was a hell for these teenagers in 1991, now as adults they are forced back into this world. Our heroes cannot return home unless the entire party agrees to return to the natural world. However, the party is split and the horrors of their actions in this world is slowly catching up to them. Can they ever recover from their choices that led to the destruction of Glass Town?
Our protagonists are in prison in Angria after Isabelle admits their role in the destruction of Glass Town. The party, now forced to be near each other, begin to question some of the mysteries that exist in the world. The primary one is how the Fallen exists. If Sol created the world and Fallen are the undead souls of the people they have killed; how did fallen exist prior to their arrival? The question is answered by Charlotte Bonte, the author of Jane Eyre. As a kid, Charlotte and her siblings created this world and upon their deaths they were sent here as the fallen. These revelations lead to further divide within the party as Ash is freed from her restraints and only chooses to free Isabelle. They are intending to bring Angria under their rule because of the threats that may be soon on their doorstep.
AN ACTIVE IMAGINATION
What an interesting choice to bring a real life literary person as a fictional character in this book. Glass Town and Angria are Charlotte Bonte’s lesser known creation which adds to the mythos of this series. What I got out of this was the ability of imagination. Sol brought his friends into this world because he was writing a tabletop game and Bonte created this world from conversations and games with her siblings. This world and all the consequences are an exact result of what was imagined. What I enjoyed most about this idea is that the author really took risks with her writing. This is a new idea that challenges the boundaries of storytelling through comics. As an aspiring writer, I respect this quite a bit. I often lament that we get the same story with the same themes under the excuse that there are no new ideas. This book proves that there are original ideas for us to discover!
A cool creative choice was the art. I often describe the art of Die as brush strokes that create a unique look that has a combination of digital art and a traditional painters feel. When it came to Charlotte’s explanation and lore drop, they opted to change the colorist. The new colorist uses solid colors as opposed to strokes in his art that provides a stark contrast to what the reader is normally presented. This could represent two things. The classical solid coloring represents an earlier time while the paintbrush feel is the present day. The second interpretation that it is the real world versus the fictional world of Die or perhaps a bit of both. Regardless, this use of two different colorists provides an easy way to notice what is in the present and what is part of Charlotte’s discussion of events. Beautifully drawn as always.
This book isn’t without its faults. There was a lot of lore and backdrop development here and not very much action. This made the book feel slower than the previous issues. Heck, the story was effectively one long discussion. While it felt slow, that doesn’t mean the book didn’t keep me interested and invested in the story. I really enjoyed the content here but I don’t think this type of issue will fit every reader and fan of the series. Tonally, it also acts a little different as previous books. The series is laced with Ash’s commentary on the matters at hand and here Ash reveals that she is an unreliable narrator. This gives the reader uncertainty and unable to trust the contents in the book. Knowing this, you can return back to the previous issues with this new information and wonder what is true and what may be exaggerated. I’m a fan of consistency and unfortunately this isn’t consistent.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT THE BEST ISSUE BUT STILL GREAT
Die has continually impressed me. It is a book that tells a good story, has flawed characters, and most importantly gives me something to think about. Forcing me to think and approach the story intellectually is refreshing. This book also keeps me on my toes and the events in this story caught me by surprise. It is unique, new, and earns more and more respect after every issue. 4.5 out of 5 stars for Die #9 by Image Comics.
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Die has continually impressed me. It is a book that tells a good story, has flawed characters, and most importantly gives me something to think about.