Split the Party part 2 centers around Chuck and Isabelle’s journey after electing to remain in this mystical world. The rebellious duo find themselves in The Expanse, The Realm of Three after Isabelle asked the gods to get them out of their precarious situation. The over-literal gods sent them from The Eighteen (Glasstown) to The Realm of Three… The opposing side of 18 on a D20 is 3… I see what you did there Kieron and I love it!
After Chuck acts like… well… Chuck, Isabelle calls upon the Mistress of Woe to teach her childish companion a lesson. The request appears to fall on deaf ears as Chuck locates an oasis among the endless desert. The traveling party of Glasstown survivors celebrate the find as further evidence of Isabelle’s messiahship. Isabelle, Chuck and Chamberlain must hide the truth behind Glasstown’s destruction in order to prevent an uprising against them.
Chamberlain emphasizes the need to locate a new home for his people. Isabelle reached out to a potential ally for support. During their discussion, a party of elves led by their Elf Queen arrives to quench their thirst in the oasis. A night of celebration quickly turns into terror as a Titan reveals itself. Chuck realizes the oasis was formed by the Titan’s fists to serve as a trap. It appears that Mistress Woe was listening after all.
Isabelle immediately regrets her decision and apologizes to Chuck. The fool brushes off the apology and single handedly slays the titan. Celebration resumes with a feat of titan flesh. After receiving a very enthusiastic reward from a thankful Elf Queen, Chuck reveals his failed romantic history with multiple ex-wives. Chuck’s offensive words cause the queen to depart. He then shares a conversation with Mistress Woe about the difference between knowing and learning, which leads to the god revealing her fondness for the fool.
Isabelle’s potential ally, Lord Zamorna, finally arrives and cuts the unnecessary pleasantries short. He openly acknowledges himself as a well written character without the need for blatant pandering. The former ruler of Angria is revealed to be the father to Ash’s son as well as the complicated love interest for Isabelle. The conversation cuts to the point as Lord Zamorna states that they are “all monsters here” while revealing a vampiric grin.
Die never fails to impress with intelligent and meaningful dialogue. The conversations between Chuck, Isabelle, Mistress Woe and the Elf Queen perfectly illustrated our main characters’ state of minds while revealing crucial backstory. The inclusion of Chuck and Isabelle being transported to the opposite side of the world (from 18 to 3) like the opposing sides for a D20 is pure genius. Kieron Gillen’s love for RPGs and fantasy shine through in every issue. The Titan was a fantastic surprise, but could’ve benefitted from a few additional panels of combat as it came across as an effortless altercation.
Stephanie Hans’ art is some of my favorite in all current running comics. The unique style sets it apart from the endless available titles. That being said, the level of detail is not quite on the same level as past issues have been. Don’t get me wrong, the majority of the panels are beautiful, but some areas seem rushed. It probably doesn’t help that Chuck has the most punchable face in comics. That may have something to do with how well written his character is though.
The multiple revelations regarding Lord Zamorna were fantastic. In only a few panels, we learned that not only is he a love interest for Isabelle, but he’s the father to Ash’s son… the history among the party just got even more complicated. And to top it off, Zamorna is a vampire??? What a fantastic way to introduce more mythical races into this world. The earlier panel with Isabelle showing short canines makes me wonder if she too may carry some form of the vampiric gene after learning of her close connection to Zamorna.
Needless to say, there is a LOT going in the Die series. Every issue has me clamoring for more. The two rival parties appear to be gearing up for a combative reunion. I can’t wait to see what happens in issue 8! If Digital comics are your thing, follow the link right here to purchase your copy today!
Note: Image provided us a review copy in exchange for an honest review