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Die, Vol. 3: The Great Game

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In the world of DIE, the players are now real players. Countries are their pieces and the board threatens to run red with blood. Who is the Queen and who are pawns? Who's playing to win? Who's forgotten what they're playing for? And what will they do when they're reminded of the real stakes? The critically acclaimed dark fantasy smash hit goes epic in its third volume. Coll In the world of DIE, the players are now real players. Countries are their pieces and the board threatens to run red with blood. Who is the Queen and who are pawns? Who's playing to win? Who's forgotten what they're playing for? And what will they do when they're reminded of the real stakes? The critically acclaimed dark fantasy smash hit goes epic in its third volume. Collects issues #11-15 of DIE


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In the world of DIE, the players are now real players. Countries are their pieces and the board threatens to run red with blood. Who is the Queen and who are pawns? Who's playing to win? Who's forgotten what they're playing for? And what will they do when they're reminded of the real stakes? The critically acclaimed dark fantasy smash hit goes epic in its third volume. Coll In the world of DIE, the players are now real players. Countries are their pieces and the board threatens to run red with blood. Who is the Queen and who are pawns? Who's playing to win? Who's forgotten what they're playing for? And what will they do when they're reminded of the real stakes? The critically acclaimed dark fantasy smash hit goes epic in its third volume. Collects issues #11-15 of DIE

30 review for Die, Vol. 3: The Great Game

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    A low score but the last two issues were better and I still have some interest in seeing where this goes. I kind of had the same problem with WicDiv: lots of up and down with my scores every issue. Individual issue reviews: #11 | #12 | #13 | #14 | #15 Total review score: 2.15 A low score but the last two issues were better and I still have some interest in seeing where this goes. I kind of had the same problem with WicDiv: lots of up and down with my scores every issue. Individual issue reviews: #11 | #12 | #13 | #14 | #15 Total review score: 2.15

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shadowdenizen

    it's clear that Kieron Gillen has no shortage of creative energy. And a solid knowledge base of RPG's and their tactial wargame predecessors (as evidenced by the fact that this comic is spawning its own RPG!) That said: as an RPG fan, I love this book! And Kieron Gillens work speaks to me; his "Wicked and Divine" and "House of Mystery" runs were stellar! But I can see where this title is a bit niche, and might not be totally accessible to non Fantasy and/or RPG fans. This volume highlights more of it's clear that Kieron Gillen has no shortage of creative energy. And a solid knowledge base of RPG's and their tactial wargame predecessors (as evidenced by the fact that this comic is spawning its own RPG!) That said: as an RPG fan, I love this book! And Kieron Gillens work speaks to me; his "Wicked and Divine" and "House of Mystery" runs were stellar! But I can see where this title is a bit niche, and might not be totally accessible to non Fantasy and/or RPG fans. This volume highlights more of the "Players" foibles as they become major players in the DIE Universe, and tearing down the status quo that has been building since Issue 1 (not a major revelation, since Gillen himself has said as much.) I'm not sure how long the intended run of this series is intended for, but I get the impression that we're moving towards a climax at a breakneck pace....

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    Some great realizations, and I love the use of historical figures (we meet HG Wells in this volume!). The pop culture references are fantastic -- wonder what that'll feel like in 20yrs :D Still some of the best art ever. Stephanie Hans is a genius with color. Some great realizations, and I love the use of historical figures (we meet HG Wells in this volume!). The pop culture references are fantastic -- wonder what that'll feel like in 20yrs :D Still some of the best art ever. Stephanie Hans is a genius with color.

  4. 4 out of 5

    RG

    Ive found this series a disjointed mess

  5. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    Not sure if I enjoyed this more because since reading volume 2 I have started watching Critical Role and am starting to understand D&D a little bit better, or if it's just because the story is finally picking up and coming into its own and making more sense. Either way I found this volume to be much more readable than the previous two and the art is incredible as always. Definitely excited to see where this is going now. Not sure if I enjoyed this more because since reading volume 2 I have started watching Critical Role and am starting to understand D&D a little bit better, or if it's just because the story is finally picking up and coming into its own and making more sense. Either way I found this volume to be much more readable than the previous two and the art is incredible as always. Definitely excited to see where this is going now.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Billy Jepma

    "Your father didn't raise a murderer." "No...but my friends turned me into one." This is what I've been waiting for. After two volumes of incredible creativity, but some frustrating execution, Die comes out swinging with its third (and potentially penultimate) story arc and absolutely knocks me out. In one of his after-issue essays, Gillen basically says that this story arc is about tearing down the tower the previous volumes built, and that rings so true. The Great Game isn't perfect––the res "Your father didn't raise a murderer." "No...but my friends turned me into one." This is what I've been waiting for. After two volumes of incredible creativity, but some frustrating execution, Die comes out swinging with its third (and potentially penultimate) story arc and absolutely knocks me out. In one of his after-issue essays, Gillen basically says that this story arc is about tearing down the tower the previous volumes built, and that rings so true. The Great Game isn't perfect––the resolution in the final pages of issue 15 is rushed and glosses over consequences I desperately hope we get to see play out when the series picks up again in April. But it fires on all cylinders and delivers the kind of raw, bleeding-heart storytelling I've been waiting for. I was enamored with this, from front to back. The exposition is more organically stitched into the plot, the cast feel the most alive and dynamic yet, and the plot gleefully, methodically twists the knife into character and reader alike. Hans' artwork is nothing less than terrific, as expected, and this volume gives her ample opportunity to portray emotion and spectacle in spades (some of her coloring choices near the end are jaw-droppingly good). Die remains as thrilling a comic to look at as ever. If I was being more honest, I would probably give this 4/5 stars, because the plot isn't as tight as it could be, and like I said up top, some of the more visceral moments in the climax are cut unceremoniously short. But...I was so invested in it that I'm giving it the 5 stars I've wanted so badly to give the series since it started. If the next volume is its final, which it may very well be, I hope Gillen is able to keep this momentum up (I have no doubt that Hans' art will be incredible) and end the story in the emotional and inevitably devastating way it deserves.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Clint

    Vol 3 builds off the character work of the first two books and makes some big plot moves, bringing specifics to a grander story about the allure of fantasy along with a ton of beautifully painted action that’s been setup in earlier issues. There’s still plenty of character moments and reveals to be had, with one particular end of issue pencil doodle with Matt hitting me especially hard. I also really love this volume’s cameo from a classic English author, and that his thematically appropriate co Vol 3 builds off the character work of the first two books and makes some big plot moves, bringing specifics to a grander story about the allure of fantasy along with a ton of beautifully painted action that’s been setup in earlier issues. There’s still plenty of character moments and reveals to be had, with one particular end of issue pencil doodle with Matt hitting me especially hard. I also really love this volume’s cameo from a classic English author, and that his thematically appropriate connection was easier to explain than Brontë’s in Vol2. I can’t wait to see who else Gillen has fun including next. And as always, this is still one of the most gorgeous comics to look at.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    On one hand, there are some brilliant moments in this installment. On the other, there are some that made me roll my eyes. Gillen has this tendency to delve into too-meta, which makes me nuts and, for me, it always tends to detract from the story rather than add layers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    As our leads continue to face a series of impossible choices (because that's what RPGs are about, right? Or at least the arty sort), more of the big picture is finally revealed. And it turns out that, in ways which really don't feel like they could have been retroactively engineered in since the Event, this is a comic about - SPOILER of sorts - the world's destined end in 2020. We all know about comics as magic, and Gillen already accidentally called the moment with Ludocrats' idea of a world wh As our leads continue to face a series of impossible choices (because that's what RPGs are about, right? Or at least the arty sort), more of the big picture is finally revealed. And it turns out that, in ways which really don't feel like they could have been retroactively engineered in since the Event, this is a comic about - SPOILER of sorts - the world's destined end in 2020. We all know about comics as magic, and Gillen already accidentally called the moment with Ludocrats' idea of a world where all that was gloriously daft was being smushed flat and grey by the forces of eternal boredom. But that was to some extent my ability to find signs and portents anywhere – this is the first time I've had the full skincrawling sense of someone I used to drink with, back when drinks with friends were still a thing that happened, being a prophet.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Molly Lazer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I liked this volume a little more than the previous two due to it actually putting forth the larger stakes of the series. The issue in which H.G. Wells appeared did a good job of providing necessary exposition. But, like in previous volumes, the exposition is what was lacking overall from this volume. As an example, when Angela finds the forge, simply saying something as on-the-nose as, "Look, it's the forge that is building the dice that Die wants to send out into Earth." Yet none of this was s I liked this volume a little more than the previous two due to it actually putting forth the larger stakes of the series. The issue in which H.G. Wells appeared did a good job of providing necessary exposition. But, like in previous volumes, the exposition is what was lacking overall from this volume. As an example, when Angela finds the forge, simply saying something as on-the-nose as, "Look, it's the forge that is building the dice that Die wants to send out into Earth." Yet none of this was said until most of the way into the forge scene, so I had no idea what the forge was or why they were trying to destroy it. And how did Angela, Chuck, and Matt even know about the forge and the dice when Ash and Isabelle were the ones who heard the Gamesmaster's plan from Wells? Things continue to move too quickly to make sense, including pretty much everything involving Zamorna and Augustus. The Ash/Augustus/Zamorna plotline could have been totally compelling, especially given Ash's circumstances in the real world, but with everything being glossed over as quickly as it is, it's just another instance of me saying, "Huh?" and not caring that much. Matt was my favorite character--and the most well-developed--in this volume. One more to go, I guess.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    Another brilliant addition to this RPG-based series. I reread volumes 1 & 2 and went right into this and I'm amazed by how well each volume moves the story forward and reveals more about the world, with other powerful storytellers of the past coming into play and creation of this world. Just brilliant. Love this series. Another brilliant addition to this RPG-based series. I reread volumes 1 & 2 and went right into this and I'm amazed by how well each volume moves the story forward and reveals more about the world, with other powerful storytellers of the past coming into play and creation of this world. Just brilliant. Love this series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fraser Simons

    I mean, being a tabletop game designer this is like the embodiment of my interests. Fantastic art, great story, great concept, more engaging than the previous arc. Exceptional stuff. Can’t wait for the last arc.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    The plot and characters are very intricate. The abilities of each player are really amazing and move the story along in fascinating ways. It is very dark but not horror.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bertazzo

    Damn... I was almost dropping the series after Volume 2, but now I am hyped as hell.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eric Waschak

    Time loops are tricksy things to pull off, but I like the emphasis on choices and why they’re interesting.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robby

    The grand design of Gillen's narrative becomes more apparent, even as individual elements become more confounding. Gillen also uses this arc to dive more into the wargame history behind RPGs. The final arc is set up well, and I look forward to it. The grand design of Gillen's narrative becomes more apparent, even as individual elements become more confounding. Gillen also uses this arc to dive more into the wargame history behind RPGs. The final arc is set up well, and I look forward to it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Geweke

    It kinds of repeats itself and has less and less of incredible witty oneliners. I also thought this would be the last volume, but it seems there is at least one more(please not 2 volumes more). And it already feels stretched. The ending should have happened here. Still 3.5 stars.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Hands down the best current series, and the back essays are so interesting! Issue #11: Read 08/16/20 5 stars Issue #12: Read 08/16/20 5 stars Issue #13: Read 10/28/20 5 stars Issue #14: Read 10/28/20 5 stars Issue #15: Read 12/16/20 5 stars

  19. 4 out of 5

    Red

    Generally I find comic series I like after they’re already finished. (Alan Moore’s Top 10, Christopher Hastings’ The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Hayashida Q’s Dorohedoro, and so on.) But not since Berserk (still ongoing) have I discovered a series partway through its run that I have loved this much. And Berserk is everything to me, and DIE is the only thing that comes close to its level. What a daring series this is, it risks everything every issue, every scene. Fitting for a series about rolling dic Generally I find comic series I like after they’re already finished. (Alan Moore’s Top 10, Christopher Hastings’ The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Hayashida Q’s Dorohedoro, and so on.) But not since Berserk (still ongoing) have I discovered a series partway through its run that I have loved this much. And Berserk is everything to me, and DIE is the only thing that comes close to its level. What a daring series this is, it risks everything every issue, every scene. Fitting for a series about rolling dice, it’s about gambling. Addiction, the cutting binaries of win and loss, the players who would play such a game (regardless their reasons) and the powers they play such games against. What a special series this is. And what a pulse-pounding volume this is, especially after the more meditative and meandering second volume where everyone was loading their guns and being subjected to exposition dumps. All the guns go off and things are more dire than ever as we dive into the series’ last arc (which implying from the three-quarters full D4 on the back of this volume). And once more, all my love to trans queen and dictator supreme: Ash. She has my whole entire heart, now and likely forever. God just fucking adapt this already, cruel universe. Give me that sweet joy. I’ve fucking earned it. Kieron Gillen is a mammoth talent. Gargantuan. I’m so glad and grateful for all the work he churns out.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cale

    While I was a bit disappointed with Volume 2, Gillen manages to use it as a springboard into a much stronger volume here, as the ramifications of the characters' actions really start to take hold. New faces of the die are introduced, and the world's history is explored a bit more, but in a way that furthers the present story. Stakes are raised, major battles occur, and a single phrase uttered in the right ear turns the tables. The art and color is phenomenal once again, with every page worth lon While I was a bit disappointed with Volume 2, Gillen manages to use it as a springboard into a much stronger volume here, as the ramifications of the characters' actions really start to take hold. New faces of the die are introduced, and the world's history is explored a bit more, but in a way that furthers the present story. Stakes are raised, major battles occur, and a single phrase uttered in the right ear turns the tables. The art and color is phenomenal once again, with every page worth long gazes to take in its dark, violent beauty. And I would be remiss not to mention the collected back-matter; Gillen's interviews with luminaries from the tabletop RPG world are fascinating insights into a culture I'm only tangentially aware of, and serve as a good basis for introduction. All in all, this was a great volume of a powerful and deep series, and I'm once again looking ahead to the next collection.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    I think this is the best volume yet in this series. The art has been spectacular throughout, but the plot has lagged a bit at times as all of the different characters have worked to arrange themselves on the board and outside of Ash as the primary narrator we hadn't had the opportunity to really get to know and understand the rest of the party with any real depth. Now we're getting there and it's made every emotional beat hit much harder. What's especially interesting is seeing just how many time I think this is the best volume yet in this series. The art has been spectacular throughout, but the plot has lagged a bit at times as all of the different characters have worked to arrange themselves on the board and outside of Ash as the primary narrator we hadn't had the opportunity to really get to know and understand the rest of the party with any real depth. Now we're getting there and it's made every emotional beat hit much harder. What's especially interesting is seeing just how many times our party members are certain of something and keep getting proven to be wrong. The rug keeps getting yanked out from under most of them, yet they continue to operate with the same level of arrogance. It's very human, and feels appropriate to an rpg theme comic, because it's how players often act in games, with a certitude they would have IRL. It's really good stuff, if dark and nasty.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Pankau

    The group splits again; one half to try to make peace to retake Glass Town, and the other to try a different plan. Along the way they find that there is something larger going on in the world of Die, that time is fluid here, and there are more players involved than they thought. Will they chose to play the larger game? An excellent continuation of this dark RPG fantasy adventure, and even better than the last volume. Love the character development, love the continued world building, and really e The group splits again; one half to try to make peace to retake Glass Town, and the other to try a different plan. Along the way they find that there is something larger going on in the world of Die, that time is fluid here, and there are more players involved than they thought. Will they chose to play the larger game? An excellent continuation of this dark RPG fantasy adventure, and even better than the last volume. Love the character development, love the continued world building, and really enjoying how all the pieces are fitting together. Really looking forward to seeing where this goes next.

  23. 4 out of 5

    P D

    4.5 stars I think Hans has *really* settled into her style now and wow is it great. I think there are moments in this where the internal monologue doesn't work as well as it did in WicDiv - like, all things aside, Ash is technically an adult and it's a little frustrating to see the same kind of struggles as a teenager (which is acknowledged in the text! But still) - overall though, enjoying the riffs on English literature and the overall-ness of things. There are plenty of adult issues covered he 4.5 stars I think Hans has *really* settled into her style now and wow is it great. I think there are moments in this where the internal monologue doesn't work as well as it did in WicDiv - like, all things aside, Ash is technically an adult and it's a little frustrating to see the same kind of struggles as a teenager (which is acknowledged in the text! But still) - overall though, enjoying the riffs on English literature and the overall-ness of things. There are plenty of adult issues covered here that weren't applicable to WicDiv, to be clear.

  24. 4 out of 5

    John

    Still extremely depressing, but I ended up liking this one a bit more than the previous volumes. I think a combination of knowing what I was in for from the beginning, and feeling like there was more of a sense of direction by the end contributed to a better overall experience. The interesting interviews with RPG designers at the end didn't hurt either. I almost didn't get this volume after the first two. I'll stick with it another volume or two at this point, but really hope it will have wrapped Still extremely depressing, but I ended up liking this one a bit more than the previous volumes. I think a combination of knowing what I was in for from the beginning, and feeling like there was more of a sense of direction by the end contributed to a better overall experience. The interesting interviews with RPG designers at the end didn't hurt either. I almost didn't get this volume after the first two. I'll stick with it another volume or two at this point, but really hope it will have wrapped up by then.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Honora Quinn

    Die is without a doubt one of my favorite series I've ever read. It has everything (in my opinion) that makes a great comic story. Good story telling, fab art, great characters. The characters truly have flaws and they know that they do. They have real world problems while being stuck in a fantasy world. I am looking forward to the next instalment of the series and learning more about the terribly wonderful world of Die. Die is without a doubt one of my favorite series I've ever read. It has everything (in my opinion) that makes a great comic story. Good story telling, fab art, great characters. The characters truly have flaws and they know that they do. They have real world problems while being stuck in a fantasy world. I am looking forward to the next instalment of the series and learning more about the terribly wonderful world of Die.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Super complex, quite weird, and with a healthy dose of meta-gaming awareness, Vol. 3 continues building toward the conflict that was always inevitable from the very beginning. Full of complicated characters and the themes of morality and identity that make for bold epic fantasy, Die has its rough edges in the reading experience, but with a compelling story and vibrant art, it's a bold undertaking that I continue to enjoy--and I look forward to seeing how it continues to develop. Super complex, quite weird, and with a healthy dose of meta-gaming awareness, Vol. 3 continues building toward the conflict that was always inevitable from the very beginning. Full of complicated characters and the themes of morality and identity that make for bold epic fantasy, Die has its rough edges in the reading experience, but with a compelling story and vibrant art, it's a bold undertaking that I continue to enjoy--and I look forward to seeing how it continues to develop.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Napier

    I didnt enjoy volume 2 as much as volume 1 but finishing this I see that it took a necessary detour to deliver bigger things. Die continues to be amazing, creative and self knowingly derivative in the most affectionate way. Its a love letter to fantasy, to gaming, to fandom but also a great story full of compelling characters with no good choices and has a lot to say about friendship, growing up, confused identity, owning your mistakes and so much more. I adore this series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    This series has always had a substantial chance of, to put it bluntly, disappearing up its own arse. And I think we're getting so close we can almost smell it (sorry). I liked the series when it was quite personal, this arc blows it up to world threatening proportions (our world, I mean), and it all gets a bit silly. That said, the upcoming arc promises to be more claustrophobic, so we'll see. I do hope the series ends. It's time. This series has always had a substantial chance of, to put it bluntly, disappearing up its own arse. And I think we're getting so close we can almost smell it (sorry). I liked the series when it was quite personal, this arc blows it up to world threatening proportions (our world, I mean), and it all gets a bit silly. That said, the upcoming arc promises to be more claustrophobic, so we'll see. I do hope the series ends. It's time.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    This is still suuuuch a good story, absolutely miles ahead of every other work in the fall-into-a-game-that-is-real genre. Especially fun was the extra back material including interviews with contemporary RPG designers, giving me a list of yet more games to learn about and not be able to play because Covid. >_<

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Brennan

    "There will be no end of victims to be fed the sweet lies of fantasy." Volume 3 continues to be great. The art is gorgeous, particularly the way colours are used to enhance the story. The back-end of this volume is a collection of really interesting interviews with game designers. And the story this issue is about making impossible choices, about the sacrifices you make for family, and about the cost of power. "There will be no end of victims to be fed the sweet lies of fantasy." Volume 3 continues to be great. The art is gorgeous, particularly the way colours are used to enhance the story. The back-end of this volume is a collection of really interesting interviews with game designers. And the story this issue is about making impossible choices, about the sacrifices you make for family, and about the cost of power.

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