War is on the horizon and Ash must decide if she is willing to fight or find peace. Meanwhile, Angela has found her someone she thought was dead in the real world. Things are getting weird in DIE #12 by Image Comics!

DIE #12

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Colorist: Stephanie Hans
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Chrissy Williams
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 22nd, 2020

Previously in Die: Our protagonists were trapped in a TTRPG as teenagers and one of them never came back. Many years later, they find themselves back into the world of Die. To return home everyone must agree to go back but sometimes their game life is much better than their real life. With our heroes destroying Glass Town, they are now coming up with the consequences of their actions and war is on the horizon.

LITERARY GENIUS

The party is still split. Angela is traveling with Matt and Chuck and are trying to figure out how Molly is here. Molly is Angela’s daughter who passed. In Die, she is a fallen and much older than what she would have been in the real world. Angela uses her ability to control Molly and the group resolves to go see the Fair to see if they can heal her. On the way to see the Fair, they encounter a Vigilante Knight that blocks their path.

Meanwhile, Ash is trying to deal with the war on her borders. Her son goes to the frontline to coax her into saving the city. Little England seems to have very accurate intel and knows how to fight this war and catch Ash off guard. She assumes there is a spy but none of their resources, including divine intervention, reveals there is any double agent. Ash then comes to a realization, someone is playing this game as well. She talks to Charlotte Bonte to see if she can arrange a meeting. In the middle of a forest, H.G. Wells shows up on a bicycle to talk to Ash.

WHAT IS REAL?

I am having trouble remembering Angela’s storyline. Her storyline did grab my attention and with the delay in comics her storyline must have slipped my mind. I hope that I didn’t mess up any details. Even then, I found something to be interested in. The Fair seems to be these weird techno-elven creatures and this amalgam of science and fantasy is always a great topic for me. There is also a lot of emotional depth to every single character. When Angela struggles, I can see it on her face and feel the pain through her words. Her turmoil is extremely well executed.

Ash has a different storyline. In the real world, he is male but as he enters Die she becomes a female. A female who became pregnant and had a kid. This turmoil (and I guess sudden hormonal change) has been a consistent topic throughout the series and this issue is no different. Does she doom people to war when she only wants peace? What can she do to keep power and does she even want it? And her character progression acts as a foil to Angela. Ash’s kid is alive and well but from a fictional world but Angela’s is dead in reality. What interesting thematic interplay.

WHAT IS THIS WORLD?

And then H.G. Wells showed up to put more mystery into the story. Why are these literary characters here? Are they part of Sol’s worldbuilding? I sometimes bring in real-world references into my game but something tells me it isn’t just that. This world is playing by crazy rules and not even the protagonists are aware of them. If I were to go pick up The Time Machine or War of the Worlds would I be able to see direct story references from these books? I look forward to seeing how our protagonists function with real world authors.

The art is also once again brilliant. There is a scene with Chuck, Matt, and Angela cleaning their clothes after their sewer expedition. They are drawn in their undergarments and normally a scene like this is usually sexual fan service. Instead, it showed them being vulnerable as they sorted through their emotions. It isn’t armored Matt and Angela being stalwart. It is them as simply confused humans. This is such an intelligent decision to take them out of their adventuring gear to have this conversation. It reminds us that they are not heroes at all but people stuck in a bad situation.

BOTTOM LINE: I THINK THIS SERIES IS WRITTEN FOR ME

I work as a professional gamemaster and an aspiring writer and I fit perfectly into the target audience. There is so much thematic depth here that I love. Even though I have forgotten some information in between story arcs, the writing and art brings you right into the point. I think we have a real masterpiece on our hands! 5 out of 5 stars for DIE #12.


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Die #12

100%
100%
Masterpiece

Angria is on the verge of war and our heroes just want to return home. Will our heroes be able to sort out their differences and leave Die?

  • Writing
    10
  • Art
    10
  • Coloring
    10
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About Author

Christopher Rondeau is a storyteller based in southern California. Finding himself with little work, he ended up creating a job as a Game Master full time on the internet. Chris spends most of his days reading everything he can, writing bad fiction, and watching old Digimon cartoons with his daughter. Sometimes you can find him Dungeon Mastering a podcast or streaming on twitch. Most likely though, he is panicking about his creative thesis for his master's degree. Find out more at https://rondeaucreator.com

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