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Die 3 Main

"Die #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics

Die 3 Large

Written by Kieron Gillen
Illustrated by Stephanie Hans
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 6th, 2019

Review:

Ash and the others have been transported back to the fantasy world of Die to track down their friend Sol, who has been stranded here for years. To do that, they cross a warzone between Eternal Prussia and Little England with bullets flying every which way. Oh, and there's a dragon.

As compelling as the story is with the main characters, we dig into some of the surrounding areas and some bit parts. In gaming terms, we talk to some non-player characters (NPCs) and this really fleshes out the world of Die. It's pretty incredible to see how deep this rabbit hole goes. Writer Kieron Gillen has crafted a fully realized world here and it's very impressive.

Ash finds herself in the trenches with some dying soldiers. This plays out just like a cut scene or a side quest. She ends up being the last person to see these poor men alive, capturing their life stories and their hopes for family back home. It's so very tragic and heartbreaking that you can almost forget for a moment that these are fantasy creatures. Their tale is like that of real life soldiers.

Die 3 01Die 3 02
Click images to enlarge

Then there's a dragon. Artist Stephanie Hans continues to knock Die out of the park with every single page, outdoing herself with the design for this monster. It's part scales, part robot, and all terror. This is what monster truck rallies dream about.

This beast stalks through the air while Ash hides out in the trenches. The sky is dark, full of smoke and ash, occasionally lit up by the fiery breath of the dragon as it searches for its prey. The colors in these sequences are breathtaking as Ash's white hair shines like a beacon of hope. She appears almost like an angel to the dying men.

Hans' style changes when we get some flashbacks to the life of one of the soldiers. It has a fairy tale look to it which works well for the environment. Letterer Clayton Cowles uses caption boxes that resemble torn pieces from a journal. The font looks hand-written too. This all works together to give us a snapshot of this person's entire existence.

Die 3 03
Click image to enlarge

Die #3 builds to an emotional climax as Ash has to rally her troops to defeat the dragon. She pulls on some of their unique abilities in such a powerful way. The panels turn red with anger, violence, and fire.

Die is big, bold, and terrifying. It takes the fantasy genre to new heights with jaw-dropping imagery and incredible storytelling. Forget what you know about the genre and dig into this astonishing world.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Die 3 Small
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Die 3 Small
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Die 3 Small
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: Fivestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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