Book Title: Image Firsts: Die #1
Book Description: Die begins in 1991. Solomon and Dominic are best friends that are so close they even share a birthday. This year they are turning 16. They’re too old for cake and balloons and too young for the bar scene. Rather than hitting the video store for a stack of rentals and ordering some pizza, Solomon has created a Dungeons and Dragons style game for everyone.
He’s calling it the birthday “party”. There’s a total of six people in the group. In addition to Sol and Dom we have Dom’s sister, Angela, Chuck, Matthew, and Sol’s girlfriend, Isabella. Sol tells everyone to create a character. The character’s abilities will determine which die each person gets. After they do so Sol gives everyone their die. The players cast them to begin the game….
And vanish for two years. When they reappear as mysteriously as they disappeared there are only five of them. In addition to the absence of Sol, Angela is missing an arm. When asked what happened none of them can say.
We fast forward 25 years to Dominic’s 41st birthday. He doesn’t get excited for his birthday anymore. It’s just a painful reminder of what happened all those years ago. Today of all days Sol’s mother shows up unannounced to ask yet again, what happened. Dom still can not say.
Later that day Dom goes to the local pub to meet with Angela and have a birthday drink. There’s a package waiting there for him. It contains Sol’s die from the game.
Dom reaches out to everyone and they agree to meet at Chuck’s to figure out what to do. They end up deciding to roll the die, which whisks them away to another land. There they find Sol waiting for them. He is now the Game Master, and they can’t leave until the game is finished.
Book Author: Kieron Gillen
Book Format: Paperback
Publisher - Orgnization: Image Comics
Illustrator: Stephanie Hans
- Interior Art(3.5)
- Cover Art(3.5)
I’ve seen issues of Die on the shelves in my local comic book store for a couple years now. When it first came out I wasn’t as bold and adventurous about checking out new titles. Even when I branched out to newer titles Die was overlooked because I didn’t want to come into a new (to me) story ten issues in.
When Image released a reprint of the first issue of Die as part of their Image Firsts collection I was all over it. A buck to get in on the ground floor of a series to see if I like it?! Yes, please.
The artwork on the cover is intriguing. You can clearly see something is happening. The question is, what? Being able to make a prospective buyer ask that question is key. Well done.
From a presentation perspective I knew as soon as I opened this book that it had the potential to be something special. The way the lettering was done, coupled with how the houses were illustrated on the first page made it obvious that the creative team brought their “A” game.
The only question left was regarding the story itself. Does it warrant the amount of fanfare it has received? In a word, absolutely.
The character development is terrific. After one issue it feels like we know all of the key players. I play tabletop games. These are my people. The story itself creates so much suspense. What happened all those years ago? Why won’t people talk about it?
As a geek on a budget I’m of the opinion that for one dollar you will be very hard pressed to find a better story without getting lucky diving into buck boxes.
This story is Dungeons and Dragons,Jumanji, and It all rolled into one. Personally, I loved it. Will you? I can’t say.
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