GRAPHIC NOVELS

Die. Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker

Image. Jun. 2019. 184p. ISBN 9781534312708. pap. $9.99ebk. ISBN 9781534314894. Rated: Mature. fantasy
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In 1991, six teenagers vanish while playing a tabletop role-playing game. Two years later, five of them reappear. They refuse to say where they’ve been or what happened to their absent member or talk about their experience at all until nearly three decades later when they are unexpectedly whisked back to the fantasy world where they spent their missing years. They’ll have to work together to overcome a variety of challenges if they want to get home again, which doesn’t seem all that difficult given that they’ve done it before…until they discover that dragons are easier to face down than the horrific consequences of the actions they took to escape earlier. Gillen (The Wicked and Divine: Deluxe Edition; Year Three) subverts high fantasy adventure tropes with an infusion of creepy horror, resulting in an exploration of arrested adolescence and the effects of childhood trauma made truly haunting by realistic illustrations and a gloomy color palette from Hans (Asgardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 1: The Infinity Armada), assisted by letterer Cowles (Young Avengers) .
VERDICT Fans of any of the genres represented in this volume, which collects Issues 1–5 of the continuing series, will find much to enjoy

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