DIE #12 is published by Image Comics. It comes from the creative team of writer Kieron Gillen, artist Stephanie Hans, and letterer Clayton Cowles. The issue opens with the fallout of Angela’s revelation that her daughter Molly is in the world of DIE as a fallen. After a brief scuffle she, Chuck, and Matt subdue Molly and put her into stasis. Angela immediately attempts to sacrifice herself to bring Molly back but is quickly stopped.
Meanwhile, in Angria, Ash holds court to meet with a representative of one of the realms. The meeting quickly sours as the representative declares that Angria and the kingdom of Little England are at war. Ash calls on her husband, the vampire Zamorna, and Izzy for council. As Ash grows desperate to maintain power, she soon resorts to unusual tactics. Meanwhile, the other half of the party continues their search for a way to escape the world of DIE.
The more issues of DIE I read, the more fascinated I am about how something that sounds so absurd can be so well presented. Gillen’s ability to make situations increasingly messy without harming the pacing or flow of the story is remarkable. You can feel that DIE is a living, breathing world of Gillen’s creation and that there is so much that remains unseen.
Meanwhile, the interactions between the characters continue to be another strong point. Seeing Matt step up to be a leader is very satisfying considering his skill set and role. I do hope that there is more to Chuck in future issues than a snarky cynic with impossible luck.
Hans’ art still shines after twelve issues. Each vista, character, and creature is beautifully and lovingly painted and each remains a joy to look at. The characters are wonderfully expressive and the color palettes she utilizes are fantastic. The frequent use of red around Ash continues to be a clever way to hearken back to her powers as a Dictator.
The letters from Cowles are as solid as they’ve ever been. It bears saying that though I have little to say about his work, I always appreciate the ease of reading it. In this entire series, I have never had difficulty parsing one of Cowles’ pages, and that is truly impressive.
Overall, DIE #12 continues the strong streak for the series. At this point, the story is completely off the wall and nearly impossible to explain to the uninitiated. But for anyone who has been following along, it retains all of the heart, beauty, and grimness that you’ve come to expect. Every time I think I have an idea of where the story will go next, Gillen proves me wrong. Never before have I been so happy to have my expectations upended so regularly.
DIE #12 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Overall, DIE #12 continues the strong streak for the series… it retains all of the heart, beauty, and grimness that you’ve come to expect.