It has been quite some time since the last issue of Die, but when you have an all-star creative team like this? I think they can take all the time they need us to give us what is already blowing minds. Plus, I’m sure most of us are also reading The Wicked & The Divine. Whether you read one or the other, or both, you certainly don’t want to see the splitting of focus present in the quality of the story. With that said, this week has been anticipated because it is the start of a brand-new story arc!
Honestly, I didn’t know how I truly felt moving forward with this story. Was it really excitement? Or was there also some fear mixed in there? As they say, this is a fantastical world, but one where the consequences are very real. The party has experienced this firsthand, we’ve seen this too. Issue #5 left us on one heck of a cliffhanger changing the game so dramatically. Here we all were thinking that no matter what, these guys were going to try to return home. The game left them with some scars, and there is no love lost between some of them as well. However, who would have thought that they couldn’t see eye to eye on even this? And to suggest murdering the ones who don’t want to go home willingly? Well that is just a recipe for disaster to come!
For our return to the world of Die, this chapter focused on what came next for Ash, Angela, and Matt. This half of the party I was very interested in getting back to because they are the ones who actually want to go home. Not to mention at least one has made it know that they are willing to kill those who are reluctant in order to make this happen. Now of course that would be too simple given the combination of powers on this half. So the obstacle thrown their way was the perfect way to challenge them. Like they said, forget escaping Die, half of our heroes can’t even escape the remains of shattered Glass Town. I couldn’t really argue with this development because this goes hand in hand with the fact that this is a world where the consequences are real. This is the kind of outcome that you should expect when you’ve brought a city to its knees that kept all of these dangerous forces at bay. One would assume that this wouldn’t matter if they left the world, but that isn’t the case right now.
While the current mission was to escape Glass Town, there was a bigger story unfolding overtop of this. That ended up being the story of Angela brought to light. I found this quite heartbreaking. Obviously there was the fact that she lost her arm, but there was much more to it than that. Through the perspective of Angela we came to understand the actual reason for her losing her arm, we got a full understanding of how her powers worked, and we also got deeper insight into what drives her to want to return home. We even found ourselves swept off our feet by the love for a robot dog. Not everyone was able to successfully jump back into a normal life. At least not one that is successful. Angela served as a good representation of how it can become difficult to turn things around after a traumatic experience. It changes the way you think, it changes your relationships, it makes you do things that you would consider out of character.
The story for this chapter packed a punch, but only as much as the interior art. Stephanie Hans did a marvelous job of capturing our hearts through the story of Angela. This wasn’t one of those issues where there was action, but the focus on the characters themselves was more than enough. I admired the way that these characters wore their emotions on their sleeves. They are broken, this world continues to break them, and they do each other no favors with their responses to one another. I even enjoyed how in some scenes you yourself could tell when these character’s expressions betray them. That aside, once more the lettering does jump out at you for the shape of the bubbles, and the choice of colors used for distinction. Particularly when it comes to a Fallen. That purple/pink shade also betrays the words you read.
There was no better way to ease us back into this story than with a new arc that begins with some jaw-dropping character exploration. If you thought that this was going to be one of those stories where everyone starts remembering all the things they loved about the game? You would be proven wrong, and reminded so trough the events of Die #6.