Kieron Gillen (Writer), Stephanie Hans (Artist), Clayton Cowles (Letters).
Since it first exploded onto the scene, last December, DIE has been a very character driven tale. Even now, at the start of its second arc, we're still getting great, deep, character driven issues, that tell us more about our troubled adventurers.
Last issue, we delved into the history of our Neo, Angela. We learned about her past as a Game designer, the collapse of her marriage, and her feelings towards her Robo-dog. I don't know about you guys, but as that particular story wound down, it left me feeling a newfound closeness, to our Cyberpunk rogue.
This Issue, it's time for Chuck the Fool to take centre stage! Chuck has taken something of a support role so far. So, I was interested to see what lurked beneath his seemingly soup-spoon shallow existence. If a Neo is best described as a Cyberpunk Rogue, it would seem the Fool can be likened to a bard, but one that uses Sarcasm as his primary instrument.
The issue starts off with Isabelle, God-binder and closet emo writing in her diary, cataloguing her adventures so far. Of course Chuck, jaded writer that he is, has to ruin all that... things are said, and other things end up covered in piss, but long story short; don't annoy a Godbinder. Because they have powerful friends, who aren't above messing with people, just to show that they can.
That basic concept forms the framework of this issue, as we spend the whole time waiting to see how Mistress Woe is going to exact her vengeance on Chuck, and what lessons he will learn.
Weaved throughout this, is the overarching plot of the Glass Town refugees, and their continued search for a new place to call home. Along the way, we meet an Elf Queen who makes a bad mistake. And then a friend from the player's past returns to potentially solve all their problems.
But, this is DIE, so of course he brings a couple more issues along with him...
As always, Gillen's writing is superb, and even when you dislike the characters, it's still a joy to read their adventures. Hans' artwork continues to be a masterclass in comic artistry. If anyone out there can make me a textless print of "Chuck Vs The Titan" I'd happily hang it on my wall, or tattoo it on my back.
Overall, this was a solid issue, not quite as good as the last, but still a fantastic read. I think my main problem with #7 was that it clearly felt like it was an attempt to humanise Chuck, and make you like him and possibly even feel sorry for him... but it's hard to feel sorry for someone that is such an UNREPENTANT asshole. He drops a few hints that his bluster is just that, and that he only acts the way he does because that's how the Fool must act. But then, you have to remember that they weren't assigned these classes. They picked them, and ultimately they made the rules. So I can't really must up anything more than "You've pissed the bed, now lie in it.".
But hey, maybe that's just me?