DIE #10 is published by Image Comics. It comes from the creative team of writer Kieron Gillen, artist Stephanie Hans, and letterer Clayton Cowles. This issue sees the seeds of revolution sown after Ash and Izzy escape from their imprisonment. The two reunite with the vampire lord Zamorna. The three of them infiltrate the home of the commander of the Angrian military.
Ash uses her power as a Dictator to gain leverage in order to blackmail the commander. The plan goes off without a hitch and the three move quickly to their next step. As they make their moves, Ash’s inner monologue ruminates on two different topics. The first being the nature of Dictators like herself, the rules they are bound by, and the people they are bound to. The other is the nature of her former relationship with Zamorna.
Ash reveals that her son Augustus was born as a result of a tryst with Zamorna. This had caused a rift between her and Izzy who had previously been courted by him. The problems escalated when the group, who had been planning to leave DIE, learned Ash was pregnant. With Ash being biologically male outside of the game, this caused problems that only Izzy could solve. Now the two, working together, set out to find the one who can change the rules imposed on Dictators. But when the rules are changed, old players emerge to throw the plans into disarray.
It is becoming increasingly evident that writer Gillen does not intend for any happy endings in DIE. The character arcs’ of each character have been plotted and hinted at all along. But even still seeing what they are capable of doing to accomplish their goals is often surprising. Regardless of who they were on the outside, these characters are not good people in DIE. As a result, the story has taken several more turns, and once again sits at a remarkably high point. While it would be fun to delve into the revelations of this issue, that treads into spoiler territory.
Meanwhile, the artwork continues to dazzle with Hans at the helm. This issue’s standout pages come from a literal battle of words between two dictators. The effects of Ash’s power is already wonderful to see on the page, but when it is brought to bear against another dictator it truly shines. With Ash as the focal point, again her voice in full effect and Cowles’ letters are also heavily featured. His work has consistently been outstanding in this series and this issue is no different.
Every month another issue of DIE comes out and I fall in love again, and DIE #10 is no different. It has the perfect blend of high fantasy, self-awareness, and bleak interpersonal drama to be eternally compelling. I cannot wait to see where this series goes and what else the creative team does with it. I highly recommend this issue, not that it should surprise anyone that I’ve done so.
DIE #10 is available wherever comics are sold
Every month another issue of DIE comes out and I fall in love again, and DIE #10 is no different.