The party is at war and the world of Die suffers.  Your Major Spoilers review of Die #14 from Image Comics awaits!

DIE #14

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Stephanie Hans
Colorist: Stephanie Hans
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Chrissy Williams
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 7, 2020

Previously in DieSix teenagers were dragged into the fantasy world they created, but only five got out.  Thirty years later, they are once again dragged back into the world of Die and cannot leave until all six agree.

They do not.

INTRA-PARTY CONFLICT

We open with Ash The Dictator (whose name has taken on a whole new aspect in recent issues), now the Queen of a realm called Angria, sending her forces into battle against Eternal Prussia, in the hopes of ending a war that could destroy both the world of Die and the real world.  Elsewhere, in Glasstown, her sorta/kinda former friends Chuck (The Fool), Matt (The Grief Knight) and Angela (The Neo) have infiltrated in the hopes of destroying a facility working to merge the worlds into one by the year 2020.  Ash’s forces successfully attack and just as it seems that she’s won everything, Izzy (the God-Binder) gets a message from a goddess whom she owes a favor…  a favor that she cannot refuse.  Some times later, in the ruins of Glasstown, Matt gets a message from a small, magic bird: “In the real world, your dad is dead.”

WORKS ON MULTIPLE LEVELS

As the issue ends, things look bad for everyone, but especially Izzy and Ash, as Chuck has made the issue’s title (“Dual Wield”) a terrible reality.  The real wonder of Die comes in the incredible achievement of making it feel like a role-playing game while also making a cohesive narrative out of the events.  As someone who has been part of an RPG podcast forever, that’s hard, but this issue really pulls together a number of threads in ways that I did not see coming.  The harnessing of Matt’s grief to suddenly and unexpectedly end the threat in Glasstown leads right into him setting out to destroy Ash’s victory, something that didn’t seem likely at the end of last issue, and every page is simply beautiful.  The final splash, where the Grief Knight finally picks up the Maul of Rage, but refuses to put down his Sword of Grief is goosebump-inducing, and even though the story is complex, with dozens of metaphorical moving parts, it’s always engaging.

BOTTOM LINE: DUAL WIELD

In short, Die #14 continues the creators’ streak of terrific issues, taking unexpected turns in both small ways (Ash’s pride in her “son”) and huge ones (pretty much everything else in this issue), with beautifully painted art bringing it all to life and a story that continues to be a well-oiled machine, earning a dead-solid perfect 5 out of 5 stars overall.  This is a book that I want you to experience and enjoy, because it’s just that skillfully made.


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DIE #14

100%
100%
There Are NO Good Decisions

That final page gave me goosebumps and makes me think the war is ending, one way or another. This book is pretty amazing.

  • Writing
    10
  • Art
    10
  • Coloring
    10
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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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