|Publication date||December 2018|
|Created by||Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans|
|Written by||Kieron Gillen|
Gillen has stated that the series is inspired by the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon — in particular, by the fact that the final episode, in which the characters would have returned to Earth, was never produced.
Volume One: Fantasy Heartbreaker
In 1991, Dominic Ash spends his sixteenth birthday playing a tabletop role-playing game with his younger sister Angela and his friends Solomon, Isabelle, Matt, and Chuck. The game was uniquely created for Ash by his best friend Sol, who plays as the gamemaster. As soon as the group roll their dice, they are transported into the fantasy world of Die. After two years, Ash, his sister, and three of his friends manage to escape Die, but they are forced to leave Sol behind.
On his forty-third birthday, Ash unexpectedly comes across Sol's original twenty-sided die and convinces the old role-playing party to come together again. When they are all in the presence of Sol's die, they are again transported to the world of Die, where Ash takes the form of a woman. The party discovers that Sol is still alive and in control of all of Die's realms. He states that he will only let them return home if they play his game. The party travels through a war-zone overseen by a man that Ash believes to be J. R. R. Tolkien and finally manage to catch Sol's attention by orchestrating the destruction of the city of Glass Town. When Sol refuses to help them return home, Ash kills him, only for him to return as a Fallen, an undead being desperate to kill living players in Die.
Volume Two: Split the Party
After the death and resurrection of Sol, Isabelle and Chuck decide that they find more purpose in Die than they do in the real world and leave the rest of the party. Isabelle takes responsibility for the displaced citizens of Glass Town and calls upon her ex-lover, the vampire Lord Zamorna, to help her confront Ash.
Without the rest of the party, Ash, Angela, and Matt are unable to return home. Ash begins a campaign to develop allies against Isabelle and discovers that one of the rulers of the realm of Angria is her son, who she had after having an affair with Zamorna. Her efforts to build political support are disrupted when Isabelle arrives in Angria and admits that the party destroyed Glass Town. The party, minus Chuck, is imprisoned in a jail run by a woman they recognize as Charlotte Brontë. The jailer claims that she is the original Charlotte Brontë, transported to the fictional world she created with her siblings after her death. Zamorna arrives at the jail and releases Ash and Isabelle. Isabelle convinces Ash to stay in Die for the sake of her son, and the two of them leave without Matt and Angela. Ash then forces Zamorna to marry her, thus becoming the queen of Angria.
Volume Three: The Great Game
As queen of Angria, Ash faces unexpected hostility from the realm of Little England. When she meets the man who runs the realm, he identifies himself as H.G. Wells. Wells admonishes Ash for the destruction of Glass Town and describes how he combated the negative influence of wargames in the real world by writing his own anti-war manual, Little Wars. Ash explains that Little Wars actually inspired the continued creation of wargames, which eventually lead to the creation of the game that brought her and her party to Die. Wells is horrified by the realization that his actions, like the actions of the Brontës, were moved by the spirit that runs Die. Ash joins forces with Little England and sends an army to drive Eternal Prussia out of Glass Town.
Angela and Matt are broken out of jail by Chuck, who reveals to them that he is dying of cancer. While searching for Fair gold to power her Neo abilities, Angela comes across a Fallen that appears to be an older version of her daughter from the real world. Angela is disturbed by this discovery and tracks down the Fair to demand answers. The Fair explain that the world of Die has been reaching into the past to ensure its own creation. It ensured that Sol created the twelve toy soldiers that inspired the Brontës to create Angria, and it brought the party back to Die to spark the creation of the magical dice that they first used in 1991. In her quest to overthrow Sol, Ash allowed Glass Town to be taken over by the realm of Eternal Prussia, who are now using it as a forge to craft the dice. Once the dice are completed, the time loop will be closed and Die can fully merge itself with the real world. Angela, Matt, and Chuck travel to Glass Town and try to destroy the forge, but fail to do so in time. Ash arrives with Sol and Isabelle, and Sol suggests that they try to track down the dice before they reach the real world.
- Dominic Ash: In the real world, Ash is a middle-aged man working in marketing. He is married to a woman named Sophie. He was best friends with Sol before they were transported to Die. In the world of Die, Ash lives as a woman. She plays the game as a Dictator, a diplomat character archetype represented by a four-sided die. She has the ability to manipulate people's emotions and convince them to do her bidding with her words. During her time in Die as a teenager, Ash had numerous relationships with men, including an affair with Isabelle's lover Zamorna that resulted in an unexpected pregnancy.
- Angela Ash: Ash's younger sister. In the real world, Angela is a coder who develops video games. She has two children and is in the process of divorcing her husband after having an affair with her co-worker Susan. In the world of Die, Angela plays as a Neo, a cyberpunk-inspired character archetype represented by a ten-sided die. She can gain control of machines and teleport herself, and she is able to manifest a robotic version of her childhood dog that acts as her companion. Her abilities are all powered by Fair gold, resulting in a dependence on the substance that is akin to addiction. As a teenager, she traded one of her arms for a cybernetic limb, which resulted in her losing an arm when she returned to the real world.
- Isabelle: A Vietnamese-French adoptee who dated Sol when they were teenagers. She had a contentious relationship with Ash, made worse by the affair that Ash had with Zamorna. As an adult, Isabelle is divorced and teaches English literature at a high school. In the world of Die, she plays as a Godbinder, a character archetype represented by a twelve-sided die. She is able to demand favors from twelve gods, each representing different elements and ideas, though she must perform favors for them in return. She strongly believes that the party should treat everyone in Die as if they are real and take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
- Matt : Matt is a statistics professor with two daughters. His mother died when he was a teenager, leading to struggles with grief and depression. In the world of Die, he plays as a Grief Knight, a variant of an emotion-based character archetype represented by an eight-sided die. He carries a talking sword that verbalizes his worst fears and insecurities and becomes more powerful as he becomes sadder. Of all the members of the party, he is the most invested in leaving Die and returning home to his family.
- Chuck: After leaving Die for the first time, Chuck became rich and famous writing popular fantasy novels. He has been married three times and is estranged from his children. In the world of Die, he plays as a Fool, a character archetype represented by a six-sided die. As long as he maintains a carefree attitude and doesn't seriously consider consequences, he is granted an unusual degree of luck in all his actions. His recklessness and insincerity regularly antagonize the other members of the party.
- Solomon: Sol was Ash's best friend, and designed the game that led the party to Die as a gift for Ash. In the world of Die, he initially played as a Master, a character archetype equivalent to a gamemaster and represented by a twenty-sided die. When the party made their first attempt to leave Die, an unexpected disruption resulted in Sol being left behind. He ended up becoming the Grandmaster of Die, ruthlessly controlling the rules governing all the realms instead of just one. Ash kills him after it becomes clear that he won't let the party return home, and he is resurrected as an undead Fallen. Fallen Sol is kept prisoner by Ash, who regularly interrogates him to try to uncover the true origins of Die.
The first DIE trade paperback (DIE: Fantasy Heartbreaker, comprising issues #1-5) was a finalist for the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, and the second DIE trade paperback (DIE: Split the Party) is a finalist for the 2021 award.
|2020||Hugo Award||Best Graphic Story or Comic||Die, Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker||Nominated|||
|2021||British Fantasy Award||Best Comic / Graphic Novel||DIE||Won|||
|2021||Hugo Award||Best Graphic Story or Comic||DIE, Volume 2: Split the Party||Nominated|||
Gillen prepared a roleplaying game based on DIE, which he has made freely available online.
- Image Comics' New Series 'Die' Takes Fantasy and Gaming Into New Realms (Exclusive Images), by Graeme McMillan, in The Hollywood Reporter; published September 10, 2018; retrieved July 2, 2020
- Gillen, Kieron; Hans, Stephanie (2019). "1: The Party". Die, Vol. 1. Image Comics.
- Gillen, Kieron; Hans, Stephanie (2019). "5: Premise Rejection". Die, Vol. 1. Image Comics.
- Gillen, Kieron; Hans, Stephanie (2020). "7: Wisdom Check". Die, Vol. 2. Image Comics.
- Gillen, Kieron; Hans, Stephanie (2020). "8: Legacy Heroes". Die, Vol. 2. Image Comics.
- Gillen, Kieron; Hans, Stephanie (2020). "9: Self-Insert". Die, Vol. 2. Image Comics.
- Gillen, Kieron; Hans, Stephanie (2020). "13: Little Wars". Die, Vol. 3. Image Comics.
- Gillen, Kieron; Hans, Stephanie (2020). "11: Risk". Die, Vol. 3. Image Comics.
- Gillen, Kieron; Hans, Stephanie (2020). "15: PvP". Die, Vol. 3. Image Comics.
- 2020 Hugo Awards, at TheHugoAwards.org; retrieved July 2, 2020
- 2021 Hugo Awards, at TheHugoAwards.org; retrieved April 16, 2021
- The Perfect Time to Catch Up on Die Is Literally Right This Instant, by James Whitbrook; at Io9; published August 6, 2019; retrieved July 2, 2020
- The Best Comics of 2018; in The Comics Journal; published January 4, 2019; retrieved July 2, 2020
- "2020 Hugo Awards". Hugo Awards. 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
- "2020 British Fantasy Awards Winners". Locus Online. February 22, 2021. Awarded in 2021 for 2020 works.
- "2021 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
- We played Die, the ‘Goth Jumanji’ game fueling Kieron Gillen’s new RPG comic book, by Alex Spencer; at Polygon; published December 10, 2018; retrieved July 2, 2020