What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Die #15! Talk about a cliffhanger, am I right? Personal stakes makes for some great action, but it does not ignore the fact that you are going to get some individuals ready to do just about anything to get what they want. Who would have thought that Matt of all people would eventually find himself wielding both weapons of Rage and Grief? That surely can’t end well, and I do mean for the person who find themself on the receiving end of those emotions.
Now as I said last month, Die #14 did not disappoint one bit. This creative team was just revving up for some big moments to unfold, and right now one of those big moments are unfolding. What came next was truly crazy, because this was also the moment which revealed just how deep we are rooted in this situation. At any point, either one of these party members could come to their senses to communicate for a proper plan to save this world and go home. Yet no one is willing to talk. All there is left is action, and this issue right here serves as a representation of what choices those actions create. Now also at this point in the story I’m sure that there are some out there questioning where all the fantasy elements are to be found. Though I would say that there is something to appreciate about the humanity of these characters being explored first, and everything else taking form around that. You can’t get someone like Matt to tap into the power he has now without the proper motivation to be that daring and bold. It all goes hand in hand.
What made this scene so great was at the same time the reaction from Izzy and Ash. The last thing anyone expected right now was for someone to already find the fire in them to take the fight to the other side. These two could have easily stepped down from their plans to see what they were doing to their friends, yet this isn’t that kind of story, is it? How they reacted was fitting to the decisions they have made up to this issue. Izzy in particular whose determination we begin to understand in a new way. Which also leads to the introduction of a different God she is able to call upon. This I loved because there is only so much reliance to have on a wildcard like Mistress Woe.
The confrontation this led to was worth the wait because it seems like there was only one way for these heroes to be able to communicate with one another. It may not have been the most adult option, but it was the only option which they left for one another at this stage. The scene was action-packed, it was emotional, though most importantly it was an eye-opener for most to begin seeing how far they had fallen to get where they are now.
What made this such a powerful issue was of course thanks to the interior work by Hans. There was something to take in with each flip of the page whether it was Matt turning into a Juggernaut, Izzy and Ash being reduced to a state of panic, the introduction of new colorful Gods. The most important thing for this issue in particular to me was creating that atmosphere of cold and warm colors. This put you in that state of mind which made you brace for the worst no matter what one side was going to do to the other. Beyond this, of course you also have to recognize the work of Clayton Cowles who really knows how to give a personal touch to everyone who carries a distinct voice. Chose the right colors and the right font for each character to match their personality and intent.
There was no lie about this issue. The board has been flipped. By the conclusion of Die #15, the story has been shaken up in a way that you could not have braced for when the party first began warring.