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Review – Die #1 (Image Comics)

Die #1 (Image Comics) cover B (detail) by Jamie McKelvie
Die #1
Overall
8.5/10
8.5/10
  • Writing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
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User Review
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Summary

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Designer: Rian Hughes
Editor: Chrissy Williams
Publisher: Image Comics
Maturity Rating: Mature 17+
Release Date: December 5th, 2018

Die is a new series from Image Comics about six adults who get caught up in a mess from their childhood. Left emotionally traumatized from a game of roleplaying gone bad, none of them ever expected to have to live through it all again…

 

Die #1 Starts a New Series

in an Unexpected but Decidedly Creepy Manner

Die #1 is the first in a new series from Image Comics. The title is short and does tend to lead to certain assumptions, so it could easily be missed. I for one would have probably overlooked it had I not noticed the creative team behind it. The series follows a group of six people during their weird and intense travels.

Writing

The series looks like it’s going to be one part fantasy and one part horror. In the beginning, writer Kieron Gillen wasn’t afraid to leave things unsaid—knowing full well that our minds could torture us better than he ever could hope for.

Die #1 (Image Comics) cover A by Stephanie Hans
Cover A by Stephanie Hans

The writing style chosen for Die #1 is somewhat unexpected. Some of the decisions made are unorthodox, and it may come off as somewhat off-putting to some. I stuck with it, and so far I’m happy with the decision I made there.

The story progresses shockingly fast at points, but it all seems to be in hopes of establishing the situation quickly. In some ways, the way they’re doing things reminded me of Stephin King’s IT. The children had to deal with an unspeakable monster once, only to have to do it all over again as adults. There are major differences between the two, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling as I was reading.

There were one or two moments which, left unexplained, just had this perfect ‘what’ and ‘wow’ factor blended between them. The mystery of what was going on combined with the imagery left me speechless. It also made me fairly anxious to turn the page and see what happened next! I’m not sure that they’ll be able to maintain that sort of impact once we get a better grasp of what is happening, but as far as introductions go, it was well done. 

So far my favorite part has been the steady buildup of tension. However, based on the revelation that occurred at the end of this issue, I’m not so sure they can repeat that in the second issue. It’ll be interesting to see how the writing style adapts as events change. 

Art

I wasn’t terribly worried about the artwork for this series, if I’m being honest. They pulled Stephanie Hans in for the project, and since she’s previously worked on The Wicked + The Divine (a series known for its striking artwork)…well let’s just say that she had it covered.

I enjoyed the color palette that Hans used. There are a lot of darker scenes, but they balanced well with a few bright objects here and there. The use of metallic colors for some of the most important objects in the series was a good call. Not only is it realistic, but it was eye-catching as well.

Conclusion

The series looks like it’s going to have a lot of potential, but with first issues sometimes it can be hard to tell. Die #1‘s introduction to the world was enthralling. Surprisingly the characters have already been well established, meaning that the next few issues will be able to focus solely on the plot.

Die #1 made heavy use of suspense, taking advantage of the fact that we didn’t know what was going on. That will likely have to change in future issues, as we learn more about the world the characters have been sent to. It’ll be interesting to see how they end up connecting the different storytelling styles. 

 


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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