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DIE #19 ADVANCE REVIEW: Hateful love and loving hate, as we dive deeper into Die, and ourselves.

Die Issue 19 Cover 1. Published by Image Comics.

Script by: Kieron 'Soul Crusher' Gillen, Art by: Stephanie Hans,

Letters by: Clayton Cowles.

Word of warning: Bring tissues, because this issue gets emotional.

We're nearly there. And, as we expected, the closer we get to the end, the slower we wish time to go. The more we wish to extend this amazing journey and spend time with the amazing characters we've met along the way. Sadly, as we found out so many times, wishing for things in Die tends to end badly. So, somehow, we've reached the penultimate issue of Die. Buckle up, folks.

Good guy Sol? Who'd have known...

Die #19 picks up exactly where #18 left off. The party are confronted by a giant burning version of Ash and must get passed her as quickly as possible, or risk losing everything, in this final hour.

But, as always, there is a price to be paid for safe passage. Well, passage. There's no such thing as safety in Die.

So, the question is asked: What is the price, and who will have to pay it? Or, to phrase the question more accurately: Who WON'T have to pay something, to get through this?

It's like Gandalf Vs the Balrog, but INFINITELY more beautiful.

Oh wow, this issue was something else. I mean, we all know by now that Gillen is some kind of Wraith, who feeds on the suffering of his readers, so I went into this issue expecting seven different kinds of pain.

But somehow, he still managed to surprise me... because that's the thing about pain, it's so much worse when you have something to compare it to.

Because this isn't just an issue filled with unremitting suffering. That would be boring, that would be too easy to grow inured to.

Nope, this issue brings with it moments of heartbreaking pain. And moments of genuine, heart-healing beauty.

Because while they're exploring the final dungeon of Die, the players must also look deep within themselves.

And the pain of exploring too deeply into THOSE depths, can be wonderfully transformative, assuming you have good people there, to guide you through.

Not these people, though. FUCK these people. Gaming is for EVERYONE.

This is the kind of issue that I think every writer hopes they'll be able to write, at one point or another in their careers. A story filled with amazing bravery, love, kindness, growth, and most of all, sacrifice. Issue 19 is set to live on forever in the hearts of every single person that reads it.

Between Gillen's delicate handling of a number of incredibly tricky situations, treating each one with the care they deserve, and Hans' utterly breathtaking art which somehow manages to reference the greats of fantasy lore, while remaining so perfectly unique, I honestly don't think I'm going to be able to stop thinking about this issue for a very long time.

Which, of course, fills me with an all-consuming dread. Because there's only one issue left, and you just know these evil people have one final wound left to inflict.

So, if you want to curl into a ball and sob, pick up your copy of Die #19. Available from all good stockists, and online, on August 25th.

A kindly mother. Also, kind of a MILF.

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