On Monday, Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans and Clayton Cowles announced their collaboration on a new title from Image Comics called Die. Gillen, best known for The Wicked + The Divine and Star Wars, and Hans, a frequent Marvel contributor, say that Die will combine nostalgia and the regret that comes with growing up. The creators announced the series in an interview with THR.
The comics’ punny title reflects both major themes of the comic: board games and mortality. Gillen talks about how board games with heavy role-playing elements like Dungeons and Dragons have spiked in popularity for the first time since the 1980s, and he and Hans want to dive into why that is. More importantly, they want to examine what’s happened to the people who played those games.
Die sets this up in a preview showing a group of teens who vanished into a fantasy world. For the creators, this represents a lot of their own experiences growing up with the genre. It’s a relatable idea for a lot of kids, now grown up, who spent copious amounts of time getting lost in those worlds. In the interview, Gillen describes the comic as an exploration of how his love of nerdiness has “emotionally ruined” him.
There’s no comic that sounds quite like Die on the shelves now, and the idea of two huge geeks confronting the problems of geek culture is scary, but relevant as hell—not to mention that Hans and Gillen are very good at their jobs. Hans’ painted style brings all this together in a classy-looking preview you can check out below, along with the first issue’s cover. Die is an ongoing series, coming to stores this December.