Die has been a crazy roller coaster of a series. But sometimes escapism becomes your reality. Will Ash be able to negotiate with H.G. Wells and figure out how to stop war in Die? Find out in DIE # 13 by Image Comics!
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Colorist: Stephanie Hans
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Chrissy Williams
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 2nd, 2020
Previously in Die: Ash is trying to prevent the war between Little England and Angria so she tries to meet with one of the masters of the game. The master she meets is H.G. Wells who may hold the answers of what is going on in this world. Meanwhile, Chuck, Matt, and Angela head to meet the Fair. Hopefully, the Fair will explain to them how to help Molly and if Chuck’s fatal disease can be cured.
WAR IS NOT A GAME
Angela, Matt, and Chuck manage to travel to Dimension 20 but they are ambushed by Fallen. Luckily the Fair comes in to save them and offer them three questions. The first two are rather morbid. They ask if Chuck can be cured and they flip a coin and reveal that Chuck is doomed to die. Our heroes then ask if they can “tell us what you need to tell us” and they begin to get answers. Die has been around for two hundred years and will eventually merge with Earth in the year 2020. Our six protagonists were the “beta test” of this process. In Glass Town, they are building six dice that will eventually assimilate both worlds and the “six” must try to stop it.
Elsewhere, Ash pleads with H.G. Wells gives her some information on how to save the world and stop the war. Wells begins to tell her a little about his role in this world and how his literature contributes to the rules. A handful of people have an imitation of themselves within the world and their creative works leave an impression. Wells says he wrote a book called Little Wars that teaches people not to participate in war and in turn saved the world. Ash revealed that the great World Wars still happened regardless of his actions. He then reveals Invisible Men that try to kill Ash until Isabella comes and saves her. Luckily with H.G. Wells traveling time, he cannot influence the war between Little England and Angria and Ash is able to bring a momentary truce.
CAN 2020 GET ANY WORSE?
Every issue of Die has a whole lot to unpack. There has always been this overarching theme of escapism within gaming and trying to discern what reality it is. However, this story introduced a plot about people playing/faking war. It desensitizes us to the realities of what battles are and makes us treat fighting like a game. As a story point, I think it helps humanize Ash because she begins to realize she needs to be more sensitive to the people she is ruling regardless of it being fiction or reality. Let alone these themes help me think through some of my own opinions on the subjects. This book has so much here to think critically and challenges its readers.
The art and writing are still fantastic. I think the series took a pacing slump in previous issues but I think this story goes back to near perfection in how it reads on the page. For a book that has a lot of information and dialogue interlaced, the book didn’t feel like it was a slow read. I think the star image for me is H.G. Wells bike turning into a time machine and teleporting somewhere in time and space. I mean, it was clearly hinted that this was going to happen but it was still so funny to see on the page.
BOTTOM LINE: THIS IS MY CUP OF TEA
I love this series. It forces me to think about the content provided rather than simply giving me the themes on a silver platter. On top of that, I am constantly surprised at the writing and it keeps me on my toes. I feel that I have pretty good intuition on narrative arcs but this one continues to catch me off guard. By far one of the easiest 5 out of 5 stars that I could give. I already want to read the next issue.
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Our heroes need to prevent a war in Die while still trying to figure out how to get home. To do so, they meet up with H.G. Wells!