If, like me, you gave your local comic book store a miss last week due to a lean week and, well, Christmas, when you do shake off that holiday slump and get on back down there you may want to pick up Die! Die! Die! #6 by Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple and Chris Burnham. Nathan Fairbarn provides the colours and Rus Wooton provides the lettering.
Once again, we have the now familiar opening page that focuses on a particular character and reveals a little something more about them ahead of the Die! Die! Die! framed splash page. Whether to better understand them and their motivations, or to give us more rounded characters, it’s a trick that works time and again. Great, simple, economical exposition. This issue it’s the turn of Senator Barnaby Smith, who has had his own fair share of tragedy in his own life, but who has certainly only been made meaner as a result of this journey.
If there is a great woman behind every great man, then it would seem behind every evil man, there is a worse woman. This is not a book that in any way asks us to feel sympathy for many – if any – characters. There are only characters in this comic book with different degrees of cruelty and different reasons for being cruel. Whether that’s in the pursuit of saving the world, or for more Machiavellian reasons, they’re all pretty despicable. But, this is a comic and so we’re allowed to suspend not only our disbelief, but our moral compasses, too. But, after 6 issues, I imagine this gory, black-humoured comic has found its readership.
It’s an issue that, once again, delivers on the violence (but, like last issue, not as much as you’d think), the high stakes and the heavy dialogue, which I for one enjoy. I know there are certain rules when it comes to the amount of acceptable dialogue on a page, but this ain’t one of those books. Good. I want more bang for my buck, don’t you?
And, being dialogue heavy at times means we get a lot more story, too. Once again we catch up with the deadly duo and loving couple, introduced in issue #3 who themselves are met with a Jason Statham-like hard knock called Stan who may, or may not, be “one of Connie’s guys” on the mean streets of London. We also get the full lowdown on the formative years of Peter, Paul, John and…yup, Ringo, the fourth absent brother. Seems their dad loved the Beatles. And, just like in The Beatles, it would seem Ringo was the least talented, shall we say. Now that’s gotta sting.
I’m enjoying this series immensely, but then my humour has always leaned towards this kind of thing. Over-the-top violence with a wise-ass, sometimes a sick joke or two thrown in for good measure. After all, the people on display here are brutal in both their actions and the language. Hardened all by a life in black ops and back room deals. What do you expect? Chris Burnham seems to be having the time of his life on this creator-owned book and it shows. How he managed to deliver a book of this quality is beyond me, but I’m glad he does. I can’t wait to see where this espionage thriller goes next issue. Whatever the direction it tales, I’m certain of at least one thing. People are going to die, die, die!
Die! Die! Die! #6 is out now from Skybound/Image.