Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans
In this chapter the team is found heading themselves towards the first city to ever be founded in the world of Die, which they never visited. They’ve heard stories about the place called Glass Town. They heard, from the people of Die, how magical the city was, which is to say it must be a pretty magical and amazing place. The party reaches Glass Town and realizes Solomon has taken over, put statues of himself all around, his face on the city’s highest tower and a shield shaped like his D20. Now the team must figure out whether Sol has set the city for or against them. We learn more about Matt’s past traumas and how evil and cruel Solomon’s reign as the Grandmaster has been.
Kieron Gillen has proven himself, once more after The Wicked + The Divine, a spectacular writer and storyteller. The plot keeps progressing at an extremely controlled pace reflecting how the main characters are still getting themselves used to the idea of being back in Die, of having to deal with the part of their lives they’ve kept away for twenty-five years. My favorite part of Gillen’s writing, however, is the fact that he, not only uses the plot to reference modern-day pop-culture in order to describe Die in the most clarifying of ways but also uses it to criticize some aspects of fantasy writing altogether. He consistently uses Ash’s thought boxes to comment on how structurally things are happening to the team and then breaks the pattern completely making the read an interesting study for wannabe writers. Better yet, Gillen breaks said structure just as we feel we’re about to get some exposition on the character’s past maintaining the chapter captivating without exposing too much just yet although we do get to know a little of revelations about the mentioned characters.
Stephanie Hans’ work continues to provide a beautiful book for every reader who picks this series up. Despite me not appreciating much how she draws facial expressions, Hans’ paints the world of Die in surprisingly new colors, considering just how much fantasy stories there are. Her extremely high level of detail comes deeply stylized and fantastical just as it should be not failing even once to immerse the reader in this scary new world. The panel in which Glass Town is presented literally took my breath away.
In this issue specifically, we see a constant and friendly shimmer in Glass Town which contrasts with the main character’s mistrust in what is Solomon’s town may represent in their quest. We also see Hans’ art in a simpler, storybook looking style, in a half page sequence, which manages to also look gorgeous displaying the amount of talent that the artist has up her sleeve and how much she can do for this series.
Die proves itself to be an instant classic every new chapter. Breathtaking artwork accompanied by talented and experienced storytelling makes this chapter another delight in what should be a feast once this series is complete.
Die proves itself to be an instant classic every new chapter. Breathtaking artwork accompanied with talented and experienced storytelling makes this chapter another delight in what should be a feast once this series is complete.