It must be said that Robert Kirkman and Scott M. Gimple are on my shit list judging by the current state of both The Walking Dead and its spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead. As such, it’s easy to be cynical about their new on-going comic series Die!Die!Die!, the first issue of which hit stores today after a surprise day-before announcement. Coming courtesy of Image and Kirkman’s Skybound, and with art from Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn, Die!Die!Die! #1 turned out to be a nihilistic, blood-soaked romp that was actually a lot of fun if you’re into people getting their noses sliced off.
The plot – currently little more than an outline, but made more compelling by a last-panel cliffhanger – concerns a secret service within the U.S. government, a cabal that carries out targeted assassinations on people who don’t deserve the gift of life – kind of a state-sanctioned Jigsaw, if you like. The business is administered by a Senator who is definitely not an analogue for Hillary Clinton, no sir, most assuredly not, and much of Die!Die!Die! #1 is comprised of her whiskey-soaked justification for the bloody opening action scene.
And boy, it is bloody. But Burnham gives the art a cartoonish, abstract quality that makes the violence more palatable; credit, too, to his clarity within the action-packed panels, which are easy to imagine in motion. The British setting for much of Die!Die!Die! #1 is ably evoked too, which is always a plus since football is indeed coming home.
The writing, I suppose, fares slightly worse. Having all the characters be potty-mouthed is always a sure-fire way to create an “adult” tone, but in a few instances it seems like a bit of a crutch, and a try-hard Tarantino-esque discussion of the word pussy’s applicability as an insult stretched the idea of knowing cleverness to breaking point for me. That said, the plotting was clear, and the idea of going behind-the-scenes of a weaponised, tyrannical form of liberalism is compelling enough to me that I’ll be keeping up with the series.