This is the magic of tabletop gaming, it is the magic of Die. Yes, there's a story, and it's fantastic. It has incredible world-building, and everything is just as you expect a Kieron Gillen-led series to be. But, honestly, I feel like at this point, the story is getting out, going back to the world you're escaping from, and how that happens almost doesn't matter.
How they get out will be cool, dramatic, and visually stunning, thanks to the brilliance of Stephanie Hans, the artist who has led us along this quest. Her work is beautiful and dark, exactly like it should be. Her painted style, with its blurred edged and backgrounds that can blend into each other at times, is stunning, and something that every comic book fan should view as one of the most interesting styles in the industry, a stark contrast to the crisp, clean inking lines of most mainstream comics. Again, though, at this point in the story, every reader should know how great this series looks, how well it flows narratively, and how cool it is when it all comes together.
There's a larger point, especially where the narrative is as we reach the end. It's been bubbling towards the surface ever since this party went into Die the first time. It's the oldest tale in tabletop gaming, and in storytelling. We've come to the point where every character is going through the final stages in their personal Hero's Journey, where they come back changed for the better. For some in this group, it's understanding who you are, what you've been hiding all this time. For others, it's why you went on this journey in the first place. Each party member has their own personal reasons for going, and have each changed in myriad ways. That's what's important about this series and about cooperative storytelling, especially in RPGs.
The next issue is the last, and as the journey comes to an end, it's one whose impact should be felt by all that read it. It's the perfect blend of the joy of telling a story together and in telling one solo, because while Gillen is the author, many hands have touched this story in some way or another.
There's also a great interview with Matt Mercer of Critical Role at the end of the issue, capping off a great series with creators in this space. It's notable because Critical Role has been a sort of catalyst for the resurgence of tabletop gaming.
This is the best issue yet in this series, and with the finale coming soon, it's exciting to see how it's all wrapped up.
Creative Team: Kieron Gillen (writer), Stephanie Hans (artist), Clayton Cowles (letterer)
Publisher: Image Comics
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