Comic Review: DIE #5

Die #5

Image Comics

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Stephanie Hans

Anyone following DIE knows it’s many things at once. How writer, Kieron Gillen, and artist, Stephanie Hans, manage to create an epic science fiction/fantasy story that is simultaneously a deconstruction and critique of the genre, is as breathtaking in its art, as it is thought-provoking in content. While younger readers may miss some references, comic fans with a bit more vintage will see much in this issue to ponder.


The Grandmaster, Sol, constructs a vast and time-consuming campaign for the Paragons. Three dungeons, each consisting of twelve guardians. If any of the Paragons want to get back to their real lives, they’re looking at months of planning and instance running. But then, Ash, Chuck, Matt, Isabelle, and Angela aren’t the old character classes you’ve seen in other fantasy stories. These characters, these classes break rules; break games. However, when all is said and done, it’s not clear what the cost of their actions are. The question is: what world is more real, the one of death and magic, or the one they left behind?

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Comic Review: Isola #7

Isola #7

Image Comics

Writer: Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl

Artist: Karl Kerschl and MSassyK

Image Comics kicked off the year with a bang, bringing back Isola after the end of the first arc. Sadly, #6 didn’t pack the punch I was hoping for–instead, it felt like a filler issue, but #7, two months later, is still a welcome sight. Yes, you read that correctly, two months. Isola is now a bi-monthly publication. But enough logistics, let’s get into what Rook and the cursed Queen Olwyn face this month.


After stealing supplies from an army outpost in #6, Rook and the queen continue on their journey in search of the mythical land of Isola. Their route takes them to an ancient quarry. In the cliff face is carved a huge statue with a shrine at its feet. Locals that live in the caves nearby, identify Queen Olwyn, not as queen, but as much more than just a beautiful tiger right away. They invite Rook and the queen to stay with them as the hour grows late. But not all is right within this little community. There are no children. They have all been taken by someone. . . or something.

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Comic Review: Sparrowhawk #5 (final)

Sparrowhawk #5

Boom! Studios

Writer: Delilah S. Dawson

Artist: Matias Basla

Sparrowhawk came a long way in just five issues. This mini-series tells the story of a bi-racial teen, Artemisia, in the 1850s. But most of the plot takes place in the world of Faerie, a magical world in which might is right. Faerie also serves as a simplified metaphorical world, parallel to our own. In each issue of Sparrowhawk, Artemisia faces a series of ethical challenges, how she deals with each makes her either stronger or weaker in the world of Faerie; but to become strong, she must kill indiscriminately. Finally, the final issue is here, and Artemisia must return home.

After she destroys/kills everything in her path Artemisia is finally strong enough to go home. There is, however, one last hitch. Artemisia enters Faerie when she’s pulled through a mirror but the evil Faerie queen. To get home, Artemisia must do the same. So, she waits at the mirror, until someone she doesn’t know (or has forgotten) uses the mirror, and grabs them up and switches places with them. Like a monstrous Cinderella, Artemisia rushes to The Crystal Palace to confront the Fae queen, who has taken on her appearance, intent on subjugating all humanity. There are words. There is a battle. Battles are best when you don’t know who wins, though, so I won’t say.

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