DIE #6 is published by Image Comics. It comes from the creative team of writer Kieron Gillen, artist Stephanie Hans, and letterer Clayton Cowles. DIE #6 begins shortly after the events of issue 5. When Ash killed Sol and revealed that the Fallen are all real humans who died in the game, the party split. Now Ash, Matt, and Angela, with her cyber dog Chase in tow, are trapped in the ruins of Glass Town by the forces of Eternal Prussia. To make matters worse, they have the newly “fallen” Sol in chains with them. The only plan of escape that they have involves procuring Fair Gold for Angela to use to power her abilities. Unfortunately, doing so requires more than they can ever obtain and Fair Gold always vanishes at dawn.
This leads Ash to make a difficult suggestion to Angela as the party can’t go on with the Fair Gold they’ve found, but they could if she got rid of Chase. In a rage, Angela leaves to go and do the only thing she can think of; seek out the Fair and bargain with them to gain more of their gold. Through her journey, with Chase at her side, she opens up. Through her talking to Chase we learn that she is going through a divorce as a result of her infidelity. Soon enough she reaches the Fair and poses her bargain. But when dealing with powerful beings things don’t always go as you plan, and by the end, new wrinkles and hardships will befall the group.
Once again Kieron Gillen has provided a fascinating look into this fantasy world. After a hiatus lasting several months it would almost be expected that the next issue would swing for the fences. However, instead of going bombastic and explosive, this issue is very intimate and personal. Most of the scenes take place in small rooms or between only a few characters. However, this isn’t to the detriment of the issue. One of the great strengths of this series has been the characters and their interactions and the way it ties them to the normal world.
As a result, an issue that could have fallen flat with such little action actually soars. The extra attention given to Angela is welcome as she never felt as developed as the rest. The moments of her speaking to Chase and musing about her failed marriage are heartbreaking and compelling. Similarly, as with the rest of this series, the ending changes things and already makes the next issue a must-read.
The art from Hans continues to be top-notch. Every panel feels like a painting and the care and detail are apparent at all times. From the moments of soaring action and danger to the heartbreaking story beats, the excellence remains. The lettering from Cowles does its own share of the heavy lifting as well. The methods of differentiating characters during dialogue are brilliant. Each help to capture the personality of the characters as well as inform the reader.
I’ve said it in the past and I’ll say it again. DIE is a book that needs to be on everyone’s pull list. It is fantasy at its most human and fantastical. There hasn’t been a single disappointing issue in this entire series so far, and DIE #6 continues that trend beautifully. With the trade paperback out there is no reason not to jump into this series and enjoy it for yourself. I’m sure as hell not gonna stop telling you to.
DIE #6 is available in comic stores everywhere.
Rating: 5/5 Pieces of Fair Gold