Years ago, our adventuring party were kids trapped in a fantasy world after playing a game with their friends. They escaped, only to have to return as adults as part of a rescue mission. During their second stint, things have been a bit up and down for our heroes, with the party split and each doing something equally dangerous. With one side of the party ruling the land of Angria and the rest traveling to help one of their own, the world of Die has gotten more dangerous, as well as more complex.
It's the end of the first arc of the stellar new series from creators Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, and Giuseppe Camuncoli, Undiscovered Country. With the group splintered and under pursuit from the deranged Destiny Man, Charlotte, Daniel, and Uncle Sam have found their way towards the exit of Destiny Man's zone, looking to walk deeper through the Spiral and find out the secrets of this new America. Since they closed their borders, the United States has been an enigma, with new territories emerging led like small fiefdoms controlled by some rather unsavory characters. Despite this, the team has soldiered on, attempting to uncover the cure for a devastating virus inside the sealed walls of America.
While the world is rightfully staying inside, many forms of entertainment have chosen to be safe and take a bit of time away from the world until things are able to done in a way that doesn't endanger themselves or others. One of those teams happen to be from Critical Role, the online juggernaut that focuses mostly on long-running Dungeons & Dragons campaigns that has given fans thousands of hours of content to enjoy and be moved by. After partnering with Dark Horse Comics, the team took their incredibly popular first campaign, focused on the group of disparate idiots that eventually became the legendary Vox Machina, into a new medium that focused on the adventures the players had with their characters before they became a viewable show. This brings about a fun irony, as Vox Machina: Origins shows the titular group before they were legends, bringing to life the stories of the Critical Role cast before they themselves became legends in their own right.
Small towns are strange places, all with their own cultures, customs, and sets of rules. Each of them is unique, and many are insular, with tight-knit communities that look out for each other at all costs. In Eden, Wyoming, the concept of a close community is obvious. In the middle of nowhere, this small town lives by its own rules, setting itself as a haven for second chances. Founded by those who live in defiance of the law and run by those with criminal histories of their own, Eden has one major rule: There will be no crime inside the limits of Eden, Wyoming. Breaking this cardinal rule brings dire consequences, handed down by the co-founder of the town, Mayor Laura Shiffron. Along with her son Mark, the town postman who lives with Asperger Syndrome, they attempt to keep the peace . . . which goes about as well as expected when the entire town is made up of those who've made mistakes or who take pleasure in operating under a different system of right and wrong.
As we round into the final three issues of the series, it's been quite a ride. From humble beginnings, our duo of bank-robbing sexual deviants has gone through breakups, fights against sexually powered enforcement officers, and so much more. Throughout all of this, the big bad of the series has been Kuber Badal, an obscenely rich executive and operator of BankCorp. who has some pretty sinister ties to our promiscuous heroes. As we get into the very final stages of this series, things have taken a turn, with Suze taking dramatic steps towards ending things once and for all.
With the Destiny Man hot on their heels, the international group of heroes tasked with infiltrating the walled-off United States has done what they came here to do: getting a mysterious key into the hands of an even more mysterious leader. Our group is a bit splintered, as many of the most talented minds in the world are doing everything they can to escape the throngs of the Destiny Man's followers. Daniel and Lottie are working on their own to meet up with a potential ally who may provide deeper access into the secretive, dark world of the United States of America. With this strange, new world surprising them at every turn and the deadly Sky Virus terrorizing the globe, things only seem to be getting more complicated.
With the finish line in sight, Sex Criminals returns with the second part of their last arc. Jon and Suze have gotten back together, started planning to finish what they started with BankCorp, and working out what the future of their relationship holds. While our time-stopping couple don't get the full spotlight in this issue, they are at the center of this series, and they have a pretty big impact on its direction.
In a new reality where the United States has sealed itself off from the rest of the world, we step into a “black box” America, one that has changed dramatically. New territories have emerged, new leaders have risen, and shocking and terrifying creatures have begun to roam the lands that so many once called home. With that in mind, seven people - handpicked for a diplomatic mission to save the world from a deadly virus - have made their way past the massive wall that keeps America away from everyone else, with results looking a bit mixed at the moment.
Over half a decade ago, several voice actors with limited connections to one another began playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons as a birthday present to one of the cast members. Years later, the game went from a way to relax and have fun to a live-streamed show to one of the most popular programs on the internet. With the podcast and stream in full swing and an animated series on the way, fans have been clamoring for the characters' stories that predated their game. Thanks to Dark Horse Comics, we've gotten just that with the second Vox Machina Origins series that explores the home of our talented cast. With this issue, we get to meet another familiar face from the Vox Machina we've come to know, love, and laugh at when they do stupid things. So, so many stupid things.
Described in its simplest terms as “Goth Jumanji,” Die is several things all at once. It's a comic book series, a role-playing game, a comic series about a role-playing game, and - like more popular fare such as Dungeons & Dragons - Die is a way for those playing or reading to exorcise some of their demons through the guise of a fictional world. Though, tell that to the group of long-suffering adults who've found themselves trapped inside the tabletop game created by their friend.