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Die, Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker

(Die #1-5)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,880 ratings  ·  471 reviews
The Wicked + The Divine writer Kieron Gillen teams up with artist supernova Stephanie Hans (WicDiv, Journey Into Mystery) for her first ongoing comic. Die is a pitch-black fantasy where a group of forty-something adults have to deal with the returning, unearthly horror they only just survived as teenage role-players. If Kieron's in a rush, he describes it as "Goth Jumanji" ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Image Comics (first published June 5th 2019)
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Amanda Francis This is an ongoing series so if you would like to support the series, you can buy the individual issues online at comixology or at your local comic bo…moreThis is an ongoing series so if you would like to support the series, you can buy the individual issues online at comixology or at your local comic book shop! If not, unfortunately you will have to wait for the next trade to come out in a few months. I have already read #6 and it is so good!!(less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Sam Quixote
May 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Six kids find themselves magically transported into a D&D-type board game. Two years pass - and only five kids return to the real world. Twenty-five years later, the five are transported back into the game only to find their missing sixth friend has become the evil grandmaster of the fantasy world - and, this time, they must FINISH THE GAME! Which means, uh… they have tea and cakes and sing lovely songs about fish fingers…? I think it’s meant to be menacing or something.

So: Die is basically dar
Sean Gibson
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Everyone* who has ever played a fantasy role-playing game (or, for that matter, first encountered fantasy literature as an impressionable young child) has wondered what it would be like, if not devoutly wished, to be transported to the setting of that game.

Not everyone, however, has put the same degree of thought into it that Gillen has in crafting this very dark vision of what would happen if a game master brought his vision to life for his players with some very real—and deadly—consequences.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, image-comics
I feel like Gillen has dropped the ball here. Die has a brilliantly simple premise that mixes Jumanji, IT and Lord of the Rings. With Gillen's usual writing style, it should have been a fun ride with jaw-dropping twists, sharp snappy dialogue and fantastic characters. Instead, this series has been nothing but a depressing, over-narrated slog. There are too many characters and none of them are likeable or interesting. The story is too complicated, and the world-building is so over-engineered and ...more
James DeSantis
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Man, I just couldn't get into this one.

So let me say I never played DnD and never really wanted to. It's just not my thing. This series is basically if DnD became a reality and you had to survive it.

So years ago a bunch of kids get sucked into this DnD world. Once there horrible things had happen and they come back to the real world a few years later. Then a time skip happens, they all become adults, and get sucked back into the game. The tale begins to flip flop from the past, the present, an
L. McCoy
Alright guys I hate saying it but I don’t like that there are SO many comics that a bunch of people love that I just don’t get why... Seriously, why do I have to miss the fun?

What’s it about?
Basically there’s this group of teenagers who had a role-playing game party with all kinds of special crazy shit with their characters and special die. The thing is they went missing the same day because they were transported into the game’s fantasy world but returned 2 years later except for one. 25 years l
The worldbuilding's already so rich but still has too many immersion of classic fantasy stories like LOTR and Oz. It is tiring. I don't feel like I am getting any benefit from their usage. I just rolled my eyes and prayed this got over soon. Too bad, actually, since the 'Gothic Jumanji' stuff was interesting at first, and those art work was pretty dope.

PS: Now I really miss (learning) D&D. Covid, can you just finish already.
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone Who's Been a Sad-Bastard (or Sad-Bastard Adjacent)
Shelves: image, hoopla
Oooh, I see this is a divisive one!

I'll come down on the side of this being a very impressive artistic achievement reflecting the reality of being a sometimes depressive middle-aged dude who last played RPGs in the early 90s...since I literally AM a sometimes depressive middle-aged dude who last played RPGs in the early 90s. Not that I'm nostalgic for those deeply awkward days, like some kind of nerdier Gary from The World's End...

I get why some wouldn't care for the moroseness of the narrator o
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
JUMANJI meets Tolkien.

I was all ready to love this, but between the atrocious visual storytelling of Stephanie Hans and the waaaaay too Inside Baseball RPG references, I could not wait for it to end. I've never played D & D, so I'm clearly not the target audience. There were some interesting aspects of the story, and I kinda-sorta closed the book wondering where things will go in the next volume, but I doubt I'll be back. This one was just too much of a struggle for me.
Jakub Kvíz
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This will be one of the best books of 2019, mark my words!

Gorgeous art, gripping story, awesome and relatable characters, perfect world building and a lot of fantasy/pop culture references and jokes. This book has everything.
Rod Brown
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Jumanji: Welcome to the Dungeon. "We've got gloom and games..."

As with The Wicked + The Divine, Gillen delivers a perfectly fine high concept story and teams with a great artist, he just cannot come up with characters about whom I care one iota.
Allison Hurd
Pretty, relatable, well-worn paths with a bit more angst.

CONTENT WARNINGS (just a list of topics): (view spoiler)

Things to love:

-The art. Really, just beautiful.

-The archetypes. A really cool mash up of genres and a nice homage to the idiosyncracies of homebrew games.

-The mix of realism and fantasy. LitRPG often lingers on one aspect or the other. This was a nice blend.

Ashley Marie
I learned about this comic (graphic novel?) thingy from my BFF, who roped me into my first-ever (online, bc 'rona) tabletop RPG and used this for the basis - still so cool that Kieron wrote it that way too. So we played out our campaign and it was probably the most wholesome R- (or X-) rated thing I'd ever seen. Instalove. That ending though... oh boy. The end of that game fucked me up.

Cut to yesterday, and reading this because I'd found it on Hoopla. The artwork is STUNNING and the plotline is
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy Kieron Gillen'S writing style. Some things were a miss for me but more things that I've read were really good and I consider myself his fan. Stephanie Hans was a new face for me and art-wise this is a really stylised artist who knows how to make an impact.

First two issues were wonderful. The third was interesting. The fourth was interesting more and the fifth was home run. Gillen crafted here a really compelling story with overlapping elements that are not visible at first glance. Elemen
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a little bit tricky to get into as it goes so fast, but damn is the artwork beautiful and story entirely unique. As someone who loves D&D and role-playing games, this was really fun... plus seeing the Matt Mercer blurb made me a little giddy. ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-the-book
I love the art style! It is about a group of kids that play DnD. Get sucked into the world..come back scarred and minus one and then have to go back as adults...It plays with their insecurities and angst. And this time they wonder if they will be able to come out...
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, 2020
Quality stuff. Great art, strong writing, engaging plot.
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
D&D meet's Jumanji! So I've always been a big fan of Kieron Gillen and his Wicked & The Divine series, which just wrapped up its run. So I was interested to see what he would do with this series, so I bought this volume on a whim and I did not regret it! Die tells the story of 6 teenagers who one day while playing a D&D like the game got sucked into a fantasy world, only to finally come back to the real world 2 years later. Now as adults there back in the fantasy world, looking for a way out!

Shannon Appelcline
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Die is a fantasy with a standard theme: RPG players get sucked into their fantasy world. It's good, in large part because it twists the genre just a bit, with our players returning to their fantasy realm in their adult lives, twenty years after they escaped. And it's got fantasic art. But we've seen the core idea before, often to good effect in stories like The Guardians of The Flame, The Realm, and the D&D cartoon. For that matter, the idea itself is a twist on an older fantasy trope going back ...more
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this because I adore Kieron Gillen's writing - he's utterly fantastic at creating deeply fascinating but fucked up urban fantasy worlds, and I very very quickly fell in love with the concept of Die. The sheer idea of 'a group of kids literally fall into an edgy fantasy RPG,' is amazing, and if you've ever played an RPG, deeply horrified at the thought of children having to survive in that environment. Die plays with that idea, breaks down the idea of RPG mechanics, deals with t ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Really stunning all across the board. The art is stylistically interesting and really lovely to look at - despite the detail work it feels very smooth and dreamy. The story itself hits me right where I live, so to speak. A bunch of teens in the 90s play an RPG that transports them into the fantasy world, and when they emerge they aren't the same. When they return as adults it's even more fraught. I loved the world-building and game work that went into this, as well as this being a story about ga ...more
Alex Sarll
Kieron Gillen's latest, with its apparently simple premise of 'Whatever happened to the kids from the old Dungeons & Dragons cartoon afterwards?', is not a comic about which I can pretend any sort of objectivity. There's the usual reason of having known him on and off for longer than I care to quantify, sure. But on top of that there's the fact that a couple of years back, I was the first playtester for one of the classes in the RPG within the comic, which soon enough will be available as an RPG ...more
A+ for concept. Six teenagers get sucked Jumanji-style into a homemade role-playing game. Two years later, five of them reappear on a remote road, unable to say anything about their disappearance. Thirty years after that, they get sucked back into Die-world and must find their lost friend and make their way home.

D+ for art. I like the black-white-red aesthetic, but in one panel out of three I can't tell which characters I'm looking at. And I spent two-thirds of the book confused about the compo
Benji Glaab
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: gntr

I had trouble buying into the story, and had trouble immersing myself into the world. Tbh the concept is kind of lame, but I think there will be a good story rooted here I might need another volume to warm up to things. I thought I was going to like this but the tone was also kind of off-putting. I think the party has some unique powers etc, and I enjoy the table top gaming tie in for their character skills. I always wanted to play D&D, but no one ever invited me, and it seems like a lot to take
Judah Radd
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: image-comics
For my full interview with Kieron Gillen, follow this link:


This is wild. Imagine Jumanji mixed with elements of It. Stephanie Hans is a remarkable artist. Her work is truly unique, and the color palette really pierces, with neons and reds accented by darkness.

The story is fascinating, but it’s really a vehicle for the character exploration. The central theme seems to be about creating your own reality, and where fantasy collides with... well... again, reality.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This really is kind of a dull book, which is surprising given the beautiful art and the usually strong writing one would expect from Gillen. The story follows a bunch of grown up losers who suddenly find themselves returned (without explanation, really) to the fantasy land they were once lost in as children, while playing a Dungeons and Dragons-type game. Originally, there were 6, but only 5 found their way back and the sixth has now become the "Grandmaster" of this fantasy land and must be defe ...more
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Solid enough to make me want to read the next arc. Add another star for the painted artwork by Stephanie Hans. But I must point out that Die is no bright and bubbly adventure. This book deals with loss and trauma which gives it a dark, mature atmosphere.
Aside from one brief sojourn in the superhero game Skraypers, I don’t play PnP RPGs so I’m sure 90% of this went over my head. Speaking as an outsider to this world, I couldn’t connect to this story or these characters at all.

The premise is pretty basic: it’s a Portal Fantasy (Oz, Wonderland and Narnia are the most famous PFs) where people from our world travel to a Fantasy world. This one happens to be a game world. That’s been done before, too. The old Dungeons & Dragons cartoon was exactly th
Just when I thought I was going to living with the gaping empty hole in my heart left by The Wicked + The Divine, here comes Die.

Just wow
Stewart Tame
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
A group of high school friends play a homebrew fantasy game in the early 90's and get literally pulled into the game. Two years later, all but one of them reappear by the side of the road. They refuse to talk about what happened, or why Angela is now missing an arm. Flash forward twenty-five years. Everyone is still haunted by the events of the past. But the time comes to return to the game …

If you’ve been reading or watching fantasy for any length of time, this likely isn't your first Players S
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Kieron Gillen is a comic book writer and former media journalist.

Other books in the series

Die (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Die #1
  • Die #2
  • Die #3
  • Die #4
  • Die #5
  • Die #6
  • Die #7
  • Die #8
  • Die #9
  • Die #10

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