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Die, Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker PDF, ePub eBook

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Die, Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker

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Die, Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker PDF, ePub eBook 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" 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", but that's only the tip of this obsidian iceberg. Collects issues #1-5 of Die.

30 review for Die, Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    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 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 dark Jumanji if the game was just D&D and mega-boring. Which could be a fun read with the right treatment but unfortunately Kieron Gillen’s ain’t it. The characters are a grim and dull lot. The world of the game is generic and depressing, which, coupled with the depressed characters, makes things very jolly indeed. There’s hardly any story and what little there is incorporates some of the worst aspects of fantasy storytelling: endless walking and talking in pubs with wankerous bloviating dwarves. The tedium is broken up with the occasional fight with orcs, dragons, etc. which our heroes effortlessly get through. Oh the excitement… zzz… Stephanie Hans’ painted art is really beautiful though and her character designs were interesting. The Tolkien cameo was cute, particularly the eagle wink, and fitted in well with the WW1 setting. It’s not much though and doesn’t make me want to hang around to find out the whys and wherefores of the tale. Die, Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker is just another dreary Kieron Gillen book in a long line of them!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Artemy

    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 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 overthought that it really gets in the way of the actual story. With each issue Die left me more and more confused, frustrated and sad, and that's not what I'm used to expect from Kieron Gillen comics — the guy is one of my favourite writers, after all. The only good thing to come out of Gillen's convoluted world-building here is seeing it realised on page by Stephanie Hans, who is absolutely amazing on this book. It's a shame the story is not on par with the art, and it's even more of a shame that I have to say this about a Kieron Gillen comic.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jakub Kvíz

    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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    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 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, and a little in between. Nothing is interesting though. Everything is explained to you but none of it is remotely fun. The dower storytelling makes this a bore, with dread all around but none of it at all interesting. The fights are kind of cool thanks to the art, but even the art is filled with depression. Yes...the art feels depressing. So yeah...I was bored and had no urge to read this past issue 5. This is a mega-pass for me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Štěpán Tichý

    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 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. Elements from D&D have a brutally beautiful spin on them (Grieff Knight), characters act reasonably (parents act as parents) and maniacs seem to flourish where there is more madness. Art helps this book to stand out. Every page is like a painting and there would not be so good comic without Han's art. Her faces are sometimes a little bit off but that is nitpicking. Colouring her art with red, black and grey makes a stunning visual pallet, one that hits in the eyes and sticks. One of the strengths of Gillen is that he is a writer that doesn't fear writing LGBT+ characters like people and he doesn't write then just for politics. It's this duh example, but he knows how to represent and not to be preachy and pretentious. His characters are alive and here Ash is the perfect example. If you like fantasy, go read this. You won't be disappointed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ariadne

    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 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 gamers that was so clearly written by someone who has been a part of that culture. Brooding and dripping with regret, rooted in fantasy tropes that have been twisted enough to be fresh, and meditative on the nature of fantasy and collective reality. I really loved this collection and look forward to more. (Read as single issues.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    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 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 outside the comic too. And Gillen being Gillen, it's both a viable D&D stand-in, and tweaked to stand as a commentary on RPG tropes. So I got to be the guinea pig for the Fool, described in the comic's backmatter as the casual player's class, and played within the comic by probably the least likable character of the lot. All of which I'm somehow managing not to take personally, because I'm lovely like that. What this absolutely isn't, thank heavens, is that far too familiar sight, the fictionalisation of the writer's own RPG campaign. Yes, Wild Cards began that way, but the slope down from there runs past Dragonlance and on into an abyss about which the less said, the better. Die, on the other hand, is more a terrier-like worrying at what RPGs are, at what they do to us, at the monstrous things we do in games, the different standards we apply in there. It's also a comic about fortysomethings with regrets, which makes sense, because Gillen got a name for doing comics with young protagonists when it was autobiographical, and then hit big with WicDiv once it wasn't really anymore, and now he's talking about his and my demographic once more and oh boy, it hits hard. This feels closer to home than anything he's done since Phonogram – because for all WicDiv's many charms, I was never going to 100% connect with a comic which was on some level predicated on the notion of Florence and the Machine mattering. And on top of that, he's grown as a writer since Phonogram, so is bringing all that extra craft to bear, and when I say 'craft' there yes, I'm picturing it as a craft knife. This is not a nice comic, in other words. Though it is a gorgeous one. Stephanie Hans' first ongoing, apparently, but if you've seen her covers and occasional guest issues (Journey Into Mystery with Gillen included) then you'll have some idea what to expect. She paints a world that's lush and solid, yet able to fall away from under you in a vertiginous instant. Which is what you need with the layers of reality at play here, especially once the third issue twists in another direction, showing us the series isn't just prodding at games, but at fantasy in general. It's a fabulous riposte/interrogation/homage/subversion/pastiche/I don't even know of one of the titans of the genre (not to mention a sly nod or two at another) and yes, it's easy to invert a beloved scene for emotional impact but oh my, it's not easy to do it this well and still have it fit neatly into an ongoing story about something else, and have all of that cohere. Mind you, as another descendant of lowly stock from an industrial Midlands town, I still say that in a classic fantasy set-up Gillen would be a dwarf, not the orc he claims.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    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 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 defeated, blah, blah, blah. It's all pretty dour, and boring, and not very much fun, which is just about the exact opposite of what a book like this should be to grab readers. The real draw here is the artwork by Stephanie Hans.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    review - https://youtu.be/TkcBUQ_GKxc

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    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 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 to Narnia and Oz. But what makes Die truly great may only be perceptible to actual RPG players themselves, because it's obvious that Kieron Gillen is one of their number. Die references, twists, and ultimately deconstructs any number of roleplaying tropes, from the whole idea of a Fantasy Heartbreaker (as referenced in this title) to railroading GMs. And it does so with a light touch, so that (I think) non-RPGers will still enjoy the book, even if they don't understand the deeper level of the book. I've always loved this genre, especially when it's given a realistic twist, with The Guardians of the Flame and The Realm being favorites as a result. This deftly rediscovers their strengths, with a deeper understanding of RPGs, and better, modern writing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marija (Inside My Library Mind)

    More reviews up on my blog Inside My Library Mind The Wicked and the Divine is my favorite comic series of all time, so I figured I'd enjoy this, but I never expected to love it as much as I did! This was honestly freaking fantastic! This is like a love child between D&D styled tabletop games and Jumanji, and it's honestly as brilliant as it sounds. If you're someone who enjoys RPGs and if you generally love stuff that subverts common Fantasy tropes, while it also at the same time manages t More reviews up on my blog Inside My Library Mind The Wicked and the Divine is my favorite comic series of all time, so I figured I'd enjoy this, but I never expected to love it as much as I did! This was honestly freaking fantastic! This is like a love child between D&D styled tabletop games and Jumanji, and it's honestly as brilliant as it sounds. If you're someone who enjoys RPGs and if you generally love stuff that subverts common Fantasy tropes, while it also at the same time manages to celebrate them - this is the comic for you. The world is really unique and inventive, but it's also quite nostalgic and familiar if you are someone who likes RPGs and Fantasy games in general. I really love that Gillen took familiar tropes and tabletop RPG elements and then gave them a really interesting twist. The art is also really beautiful and ethereal, while also being really dark and dramatic, which fits this story really well. It's GREAT. I cannot wait to see where the series goes from here, because the first volume was fantastic. Highly recommend this one! Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

  13. 4 out of 5

    Trike

    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 exactl 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 this story. This intro sums up the cartoon and this book: https://youtu.be/hHnsMKQJBDA I definitely got the impression that Gillen was just doing the “adult” version of that cartoon, but since I don’t get the references and he doesn’t explain anything, I could only appreciate the apparent story. Judging by that, this is no deeper than a puddle. Maybe the different dice mean something, but I don’t get the joke. There are some things which are weird. For instance, one girl wants to be a cyberpunk, which are called Neos. That’s clearly a reference to The Matrix, but that movie came out in 1999 and this starts in 1991. Seems like a pretty basic mistake to make. If it’s not a mistake, there’s no explanation given. Hence my problems with this book. The art is nice, I guess, although in some instances I couldn’t tell what was supposed to be happening.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    There's an intriguing premise and interesting twists in this tale of British forty-somethings returning to a "Dungeons and Dragons" style world they were trapped in for two years as teenagers... but the plot rushes along just a little too fast. I only got to know two of the five main characters well, so the choices of the others -- particularly in the conclusion -- didn't necessarily carry the proper emotional weight. Five issues was not enough to tell this ambitious story, especially when one i There's an intriguing premise and interesting twists in this tale of British forty-somethings returning to a "Dungeons and Dragons" style world they were trapped in for two years as teenagers... but the plot rushes along just a little too fast. I only got to know two of the five main characters well, so the choices of the others -- particularly in the conclusion -- didn't necessarily carry the proper emotional weight. Five issues was not enough to tell this ambitious story, especially when one issue is an odd diversion/interlude on the horrors of war and the connection between Tolkien and modern fantasy. While the character development doesn't get quite enough time to shine, the world and its bizarre rules stand out as wildly original twists on RPG logic -- particularly in how the characters' unique fantasy powers are driven by odd sources representing addiction, bargaining, deception, grief, and overconfidence. I plan to keep reading, to learn more about the main characters and this unique world, especially in light of some of the final twists.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Benji Glaab

    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 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 in for beginners. The painted art style was beautiful, aesthetically this is a great book. Gillen always finds great artist to co-create with. I really hope I can get into volume 2 more if the characters continue to shine through, and the art stays top notch that would be more than enough to keep me hanging around

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Read as individual issues. I'm a huge fan of Kieron Gillen. I love his work with Jamie McKelvie on Young Avengers and I love his Star Wars work on Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra and currently the main title. I tried Wicked + Divine and while it had a great hook, I stopped reading around arc 3 or 4. I think this is his best work. A great hook in chapter one followed by further world building in chapter 2. And then chapter 3 just takes the whole thing to another level. Chapter 5 ends on a kicker and I ca Read as individual issues. I'm a huge fan of Kieron Gillen. I love his work with Jamie McKelvie on Young Avengers and I love his Star Wars work on Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra and currently the main title. I tried Wicked + Divine and while it had a great hook, I stopped reading around arc 3 or 4. I think this is his best work. A great hook in chapter one followed by further world building in chapter 2. And then chapter 3 just takes the whole thing to another level. Chapter 5 ends on a kicker and I can't wait to read what happens next. Both a love letter and commentary on fantasy as well as an exploration on the trauma of adolescence. And that doesn't even mention the gorgeous art of Stephanie Hans, whose prints of Buffy, Ms. Marvel and Storm grace my hallways. Highly recommend.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Geoffrey Payne

    This series is based on such a cool concept and so far has had great character development. I can’t wait for more! 4 out of 5.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Franki (wardenswatch)

    Ahhh so good. Dungeons and Dragons themed anything should always come loaded with angst and characters with wacko OP-yet limited-powers!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Roy

    It started off really cool but then just became a little depressing/boring. The art was ok but was a little too depressing in its mood.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Crini

    DAMN, this was one of the most epic comics I have read in a long while. Basically a diverse Jumanji meets IT on crack with the most gorgeous art.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bárbara

    Incredible! Damn near perfect!

  22. 4 out of 5

    GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)

    I'm a pretty big Dungeons and Dragons guy. I DM a game every Sunday (We've just taken a hiatus for the summer break and I'm kinda lost right now without it). It could be, because of this, that I found myself loving Die so much. There are so many D&D easter eggs and references and thematic wordplay's going on in this comic that it just makes me a giant ball of happy, bubbly...er...happiness inside. I'm particularly fond of all the riffs on character classes that Kieron Gillen has created for t I'm a pretty big Dungeons and Dragons guy. I DM a game every Sunday (We've just taken a hiatus for the summer break and I'm kinda lost right now without it). It could be, because of this, that I found myself loving Die so much. There are so many D&D easter eggs and references and thematic wordplay's going on in this comic that it just makes me a giant ball of happy, bubbly...er...happiness inside. I'm particularly fond of all the riffs on character classes that Kieron Gillen has created for this story. We have a Dictator (Bard), Fool (Bard), Grief Knight (Fighter), Neo (Thief), Godbinder (Cleric), and Grandmaster (Mage). Each one has characteristics of the classic RPG/D&D tropes, however, Gillen has put his own twist on them and they are pretty fun to read about. I suppose, the most exciting part about this comic, at least for me, is the fact that Kieron Gillen has gone ahead and created an actual tabletop RPG experience based off Die that you can purchase and adventure in with a group of your own friends. That's pretty friggen baller and I'm excited to get my hands on the rule-set and have a go at it. And then there's Stephanie Hans's art. Holy shit. She takes all the work that Kieron has done in crafting this world and breathes a life into it that is impressive as fuck. Spectacular work and it made every single page an absolute treat to look upon. My only gripe with this first volume is that things felt a little rushed at times. The pace was so fast that at times I felt like maybe I was missing important parts of the story. I think maybe the creators were just a little too excited to be playing in the world they had created...and honestly...I can't blame them cuz it was all pretty fucking rad. I'm definitely onboard for what comes next!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Devann

    This was a decent start to what could become a really great series, but I found it to be confusing a lot of the time. Maybe that's partly because my only experience with DND is listening to The Adventure Zone podcast, but honestly it's not that complicated of a concept so I think non-DND players should still be able to read and generally understand it [if not then sorry but that's just bad writing]. I'm thinking it's more like 'it's going to be really weird and confusing and then make sense righ This was a decent start to what could become a really great series, but I found it to be confusing a lot of the time. Maybe that's partly because my only experience with DND is listening to The Adventure Zone podcast, but honestly it's not that complicated of a concept so I think non-DND players should still be able to read and generally understand it [if not then sorry but that's just bad writing]. I'm thinking it's more like 'it's going to be really weird and confusing and then make sense right at the end' because that seems to be the over-arching style of The Wicked + The Divine so maybe that's just how Gillen writes, but it certainly makes it hard to get through his stuff at certain points. The art here is absolutely amazing and honestly kind of outshines the plot in a lot of places. The characters are okay [except I really hate Chuck but I think you're pretty much supposed to] and their powers seem to be a bit different than what you would find in a standard fantasy world like this so that was interesting. In the second volume I'm hoping we get to see more of the world in general - and also get more into the things from the real world that inspired it and how they view them differently as adults than they did as children, like the issue where they were in Eternal Prussia with Tolkien - and also delve into what exactly is going on with Ash re: his gender and sexuality because to me that was probably the most interesting thing that's been brought up so far.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

    The easy comparison is Jumanji by way of D&D, but going into this expecting that will leave a sour taste in your mouth. This is a meditation on grief by way of ludology and grim fantasy, a dirge for childhood wonder. What happens when the kids on bikes grow up, drift apart, move on? When they forget those bonds and pinky-swears? No, a more apt readalike would be King's IT, where a group of former friends return to their collective nightmare after repressing horrible childhood memories. It to The easy comparison is Jumanji by way of D&D, but going into this expecting that will leave a sour taste in your mouth. This is a meditation on grief by way of ludology and grim fantasy, a dirge for childhood wonder. What happens when the kids on bikes grow up, drift apart, move on? When they forget those bonds and pinky-swears? No, a more apt readalike would be King's IT, where a group of former friends return to their collective nightmare after repressing horrible childhood memories. It took me a minute to get into the art; it's slightly dreamlike which I found frustrating when I wanted a more concrete realized fantasy world; but that's exactly the point: D&D's world looks different to all of us. That's the nature of a game played mostly in your imagination. To that extent, artist Stephanie Hans has knocked this out of the park, evoking cyberpunk, epic fantasy, steampunk, world war 1, biker punks, and more all at once in a cohesive piece. There's nothing else like it. This absolutely won't be for everyone. It's not nearly as fun as the premise makes it sound. It's nasty, dirty, and the characters are damaged to the point they aren't really all that likeable. But I can't wait to see what happens next.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Relstuart

    The going to another world (Narnia style) has nearly become it's own type of fantasy story. But what if everything doesn't go well in this other world? In this book we have five teens disappearing into a fantasy world and just four of them reappear two years later. Years go by, they marry, get into careers and near middle age when an opportunity comes to go back... and they do to find out what happened to the one they left behind. The art is fantastic in this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    João Calafate

    Very solid 4 stars. This was so COOL. The art-style is gorgeous and the story is so original. D&D meets Jumanji but super Gothic and dark? Count me in. I need more time to get properly attached to the characters, but they're already pretty interesting, and I loved the twist in issue #5. I can't wait to read what Kieron Gillen does next in this super weird, super meta fantasy world.

  27. 4 out of 5

    BleedersDigest

    TLDR: Just read the dang’ thing! This “Gothic jumanji” as the author likes to call it (quite accurately) is a table top rpg session gone wrong and it is goooooooood. While the fantasy world is built around references to geek culture, particularly the character classes are not only original but highlight the personality of the people playing them. Even more so, as they revisit the game they came up with in their teens with their adult fears and struggle.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I consider this a near perfect beginning to a high stakes high fantasy comic series. The combinations of various powers and character classes is brilliant here, the use of color to express a barely-remembered reality versus an all- too- real game is phenomenal. 10/10 I can't wait to read more from this series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rita Sousa

    This was so COOL. A very solid 4 stars, could be a 5 but some parts were a bit rushed. My first complete read for the O.W.L.S. Magical Readathon - Transfiguration: A book with sprayed edges or a red cover ✓

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Upped to 3 stars only because of the artwork

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