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Die #16 Gets a Diamond UK Direct Market Variant

Image Comics has revealed a highly collectible variant cover for the forthcoming Die #16 by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans. This variant will be shipped exclusively to Diamond UK Direct Market accounts as a Thank You and is designed to benefit our international partners during an exceptionally difficult period for independently-owned businesses.

Die #16 kicks off the series’ final story arc, “Bleed,” this May and the highly anticipated conclusion to the series will land in Die #20.

To go into the dark, you have to get to the dark. They never put a dungeon anywhere accessible, do they? Past sins haunt our party, and future sins permeate the landscape. Die’s closing arc begins as we began: with regrets and screaming.

Die #16 Cover A by Hans (Diamond Code MAR210062) and Die #16 Cover B by Varanda (Diamond Code MAR210063) will also both be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 5.

Die #16 Diamond UK Direct Market Variant

Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans’ Die Wins a British Fantasy Award

The bestselling series Die by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans was honored this week with the 2020 British Fantasy Award in the “Best Comic/Graphic Novel” category.

The award has been handed out annually by the BFS beginning in 1972 (first named The August Derleth Fantasy Awards until 1976), with the society’s membership deciding on the initial shortlist, before turning the nominees over to juries for a final deliberation. This is the fourth time in five years that an Image Comics series has won in the category. Previous Image titles that have taken home the award for this category include Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s Monstress volumes one and two, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine DeLandro’s Bitch Planet, and Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga.

Die has consistently held a seat as one of the top-selling Image Comics series with multiple sell-outs at the distributor level and regular reorder activity that’s skyrocketed with each new installment’s release. Perhaps best described as Jumanji with goth sensibilities, the series has stolen headlines since its launch for ushering in a new trend in RPG-themed storytelling.

The series enters its final story arc—titled “Bleed”—this May with the release of Die #16. Now is the perfect time for new readers to pick up Die volumes 1-3 available in trade paperback and catch up in time for the highly anticipated new story arc.

Die #16 Cover A by Hans (Diamond Code MAR210062) and Die #16 Cover B by Alberto Varanda (Diamond Code MAR210063) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 5.

Die #16

Stephanie Hans Celebrates the Legacy of Black Knight in Variant Covers

On March 17th, the greatest knight of them all rides again! Written by Simon Spurrier with art by Sergio Dávila, Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #1 will expand the fascinating mythology behind the cursed hero and introduce his adventures to a new generation of fans. To celebrate this fan-favorite hero’s highly-anticipated return, acclaimed artist Stephanie Hans has crafted a stunning collection of connecting covers. These five covers will adorn each issue of the series, laying out the rich history of the Black Knight mantle from Stan Lee and Joe Maneely’s original creation to the villainous days of Nathan Garett to Dane Whitman’s time as an Avenger!

Currently holding up the legacy of the Black Night, Dane Whitman who knows all too well that welding the magical Ebony Blade comes at a terrible price: an insatiable lust for blood and mayhem that constantly threatens to swallow its owner in darkness. Will that be Dane’s fate? Following his epic battle against the KING IN BLACK, a reinvigorated Dane has a greater sense of purpose than ever before. But his sword is the key to a new enemy’s evil plan and only the Black Knight can prevent the coming death and destruction. This conflict spanning mythical Camelot to modern-day NYC will test Dane like never before and challenge everything he believes about himself, the Ebony Blade, and the entire history of the Black Knight.

Check out the first three Legend of the Black Knight variant covers. Be there for the startling next chapter in the saga of Black Knight when Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #1 hits stands on March 17th.

Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade Legend of the Black Knight variant covers

Die Begins its Countdown to its Sinister Finale

Bestselling series Die by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans will kick off its final story arc—ominously titled “Bleed”—beginning with Die #16 out from Image Comics this May. The highly anticipated conclusion for the series will be revealed in Die #20.

To go into the dark, you have to get to the dark. They never put a dungeon anywhere accessible, do they? Past sins haunt our party, and future sins permeate the landscape. Die’s closing arc begins as we began: with regrets and screaming.

Die has consistently held a seat as one of the top selling Image Comics series with multiple sell-outs at the distributor level and regular reorder activity that’s skyrocketed with each new installment’s release. Perhaps best described as Jumanji with goth sensibilities, the series has stolen headlines since its launch for ushering in a new trend in RPG themed storytelling.

Die #16 Cover A by Hans (Diamond Code MAR210062) and Die #16 Cover B by Alberto Varanda (Diamond Code MAR210063) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 5.

Underrated: Die: Fantasy Heartbreaker

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: JDie: Fantasy Heartbreaker.


Believe it or not, I’m not the biggest reader of Kieron Gillen‘s work. The author has some critically acclaimed works that frankly I’ve never gotten around to reading – not because I’m not a fan of his work, but largely because I never make a conscious effort to hunt out the author’s work. More often than not, I end up reading Gillen’s writing as it falls into comics I would naturally gravitate toward; case in point the subject of today’s column.

According to Goodreads Die: Fantasy Heartbreaker is “a pitch-black fantasy where a group of forty-something adults have to deal with the returning, unearthly horror they only just survived as teenage role-players.” Perhaps the easiest way to describe this is as a dark version of Jumanji as six D&D players disappear for two years as they start up a special kind of game. The story takes place almost thirty years later as they’re forced back to the fantasy world as the very characters they played as initially – only this time they have lives they want too return to.

The first volume of Die is heavily influenced by D&D and roleplaying games in general – but if you’re not a fan of that type of entertainment then have no fear because you don’t need to be intimately familiar with the ins and outs of character creation (though as with anything paying homage to something, knowledge of D&D character creation will likely give you a laugh or two when the players go through the same process, but again, it’s by no means essential). The comic is set up in that if you’ve ever played any type of game where you interact with non player characters (videogames, roleplaying games, choose your own adventure type books), and have wondered what happens in the world when you turn off the game, then you’ll find something to enjoy in the premise. That’s to say nothing of Gillen’s writing or Stephanie Hans art as she brings to life the fantasy world in Gillen’s imagination.

It feels odd to highlight the work of the man partly responsible for The Wicked + The Divine, but this is one of those books that I don’t see enough people talking about. Until I picked up the first volume at my comic shop (for all of $10!), I’m fairly sure it had been on the shelf for some time – at the very least I hadn’t heard anybody asking for it in the same way as other works by creators not published by the big two. Die is a dark book, and through this Gillen explores whether we’d truly be heroes in a world of no consequence, whether we would give way to our inhibitions and become the worst versions of ourselves or whether we could rise above.

The more I thought about the book the more I enjoyed the layers Gillen had woven into it; although they were only teenagers when they first entered the game, the six players spent two years in the fantasy world – and three decades later, they’re facing the consequences of actions they took, relationships they forged and the decisions made during those two years. Some of these people are still haunted by their time in the fantasy world, and how that’ll play out across the next two volumes is something I’m super excited to find out.

You should be able to find this at your LCS, or online, easily enough.


In the meantime, Underrated will return to highlight more comic book related stuff  that either gets ignored despite it’s high quality, or maybe isn’t quite as bad as we tend to think it is.

Marvel Celebrates 80 Years of Captain America with a Giant-Sized Tribute

In March 1941, comic book legends Jack Kirby and Joe Simon introduced the world to Steve Rogers in the historic Captain America Comics #1, and a pop culture icon was born. Marvel will honor their tremendous contribution to the comic book industry with Captain America Tribute #1, a giant-sized special celebrating the character’s 80th anniversary.

Captain America Tribute #1 will feature a cadre of Marvel’s best artists redrawing and modernizing Captain America’s first appearance, Captain America Comics #1, as well as his genre-defining reintroduction to the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Avengers #4. See the Star-Spangled Avenger’s extraordinary origin, his first battle against the Red Skull, and his Silver Age debut where he emerges from suspended animation to live on as a Star-Spangled Avenger like never before as your favorite artists reimagine these classic tales for a new age. These definitive comic book stories will be presented in an all-new way in a star-studded special that will delight long-time True Believers and the current generation of Marvel fans!

This unparalleled undertaking will include artwork by John Cassaday, Marguerite Sauvage, David Lapham, Declan Shalvey, Pere Pérez, Salvador Larroca, Leinil Francis Yu, Valerio Schiti, Carlos Pacheco, Inhyuk Lee, Kei Zama, Sara Pichelli, Jesús Saiz, Kim Jacinto, Adam Kubert, Federico Vicentini, Mahmud Asrar, Jim Cheung, Terry Dodson, Joe Bennett, Alex Ross, Steve Epting, Adam Hughes, Stephanie Hans, Javier Garrón, Alitha E. Martinez, Elena Casagrande, Paco Medina, Daniel Acuña, Chris Samnee, Butch Guice, Rachael Stott, Pepe Larraz, Greg Smallwood, Greg Land, Ray-Anthony Height, Mark Bagley, and Marvel’s Stormbreakers including Peach Momoko, Juann Cabal, Carmen Carnero, R.B. Silva, Joshua Cassara, Natacha Bustos, Iban Coello, and Patrick Gleason! And with a cover by Steve McNiven.

For 80 years, Captain America’s adventures have entertained fans of all ages around the world. Don’t miss today’s top talent pay homage to Captain America’s most legendary stories when Captain America Tribute #1 hits stands this coming March!

Captain America Tribute #1

Die #11 Kicks Off a New Arc and Gets a New Printing

Die #11, from bestselling writer Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, is being rushed back to print by Image Comics in order to keep up with overwhelming demand. This issue kicks off the third story arc in the wildly popular, dark fantasy series.

Half the party is ruling a whole empire. The other half is on the run. Neither has it easy. There is nothing easy in this game, especially when the stakes get shockingly real. The most epic arc of Die begins as it means to go on: messily.

Die #11, second printing will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 29.

Die #11, second printing

Check out the Hugo Award’s “Best Graphic Story or Comic” Nominees

Hugo Awards

The nominees for “Best Graphic Story or Comic” for this year’s Hugo Awards have been announced. Normally, the winners are announced at Worldcon but with the event this year canceled due to COVID-19, it’s unknown when the winners will be announced.

The nominees were announced on April 8 and were decided from 1,584 valid nominating ballots with a total of 27,033 nominations. Members nominated up to five works/people in each category, and the top six works/people in each category were shortlisted as finalists.

Check out all of the Hugo nominees and the comic nominees below:

  • Die, Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker, by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAWZeus Comics

  • LaGuardia, written by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford, colors by James Devlin (Berger Books; Dark Horse)

Purchase: AmazonKindle – comiXologyTFAW

  • Monstress, Volume 4: The Chosen, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image)

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAW

  • Mooncakes, by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker, letters by Joamette Gil (Oni Press; Lion Forge)

Purchase: AmazonTFAW

  • Paper Girls, Volume 6, written by Brian K. Vaughan, drawn by Cliff Chiang, colors by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image)

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAWZeus Comics

  • The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 9: “Okay”, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, colors by Matt Wilson, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAWZeus Comics

On top of the comics above, Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel are nominated in “Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form,” and Watchmen: “A God Walks into Abar” and Watchmen: “This Extraordinary Being” are nominated in “Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.”


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Preview: Robert E. Howard’s Dark Agnes #2 (of 5)

Robert E. Howard’s Dark Agnes #2 (of 5)

(W) Becky Cloonan (A) Luca Pizzari (CA) Stephanie Hans
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Mar 04, 2020
SRP: $3.99

MAYHEM, A MASKED BALL, AND MURDER MOST FOUL!

AGNES and ETIENNE enter the lair of the beast-sneaking into the palace of DUKE D’ALENCON, even as his agents hunt for them!

But when a murder victim turns up in the court, will they escape notice or be drawn deeper into the labyrinth of disaster forming around them?
All this and the return of a ghost from Agnes’ past!

Robert E. Howard's Dark Agnes #2 (of 5)

Preview: Dark Agnes #1 (of 5)

Dark Agnes #1 (of 5)

(W) Becky Cloonan (A) Luca Pizzari (CA) Stephanie Hans
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Feb 05, 2020
SRP: $3.99

HER FIRST SOLO COMIC SERIES!

Forced into an arranged marriage, Agnes de Chastillon took matters into her own violent hands to free herself from the yoke of a life she never wanted. Now, the woman known as DARK AGNES, along with her mercenary partner ETIENNE VILLIERS, make their way through 16th century France as sellswords on their way to join the wars in Italy, where the real money is! But when Etienne is captured by the DUKE OF ALENCON’s forces and set for execution, it’s up to Dark Agnes to save the day! But what evil designs are being enacted on Agnes, and will she doom herself by saving Etienne?

An all-new story following up Robert E. Howard’s tales, the swashbuckling saga of DARK AGNES in Marvel Comics starts here!

Dark Agnes #1 (of 5)
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