Review: ‘East of West’ # 1

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Jonathan Hickman’s newest book East of West is an impressive blend of genres: a Sci Fi Western about the four horseman of the apocalypse. Hickman has struck gold again, creating a wildly original tale with incredible art, which manages to introduce a new take on American dystopia. The engrossing story he begins to weave here will surely become one of the most epic titles on the shelves by years end.

WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Hickman
ART BY: Nick Dragotta
PUBLISHER: Image
PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: March 27th, 2013

The team that brought us Marvel’s “FF” is back. Hickman and Dragotta have reunited and it feels damn good.

“East of West” begins like most Hickman stories: nearly impenetrable. Yet, Hickman is the master of the slow boil. This issue is so densely packed with information that the parts that don’t make sense now, surely will in a few months time. Which is to say, the story is layered, planned, and somewhat flawed.

Hickman’s approach to writing makes the reader ask a multitude of questions, with the answers slowly revealing themselves. The world Hickman has created here is filled with remarkable depth, both in character and in context.

I found myself completely enraptured in most panels. Dragotta’s art brings Hickman’s sci fi western wasteland to beautiful realization. Their partnership is clearly very strong and the clean panels are a clear indication of this.

The story and art really hit their stride in our main character introduction scene. The whole thing takes place in a bar, and echoes the best western stories you can think of. It flows with remarkable speed, and the characters are perfectly mysterious and endearing.

Without revealing too much the plot seems to center of the four horseman of the apocalypse entering this western dystopia. Yet, as we find out on the first page, one of the horsemen is missing. We’re not entirely sure which by the end of this first issue, but we are indeed introduced to the other three.

The main character reminded me of Alucard from “Hellsing”. From his body language, and general attitude. We shall see if the comparison holds up over time, but the final scene with Death and President will prove to be something comic buyers will be talking about until the next issue drops.

I can say with relative ease that Hickman and Dragotta are in the process of creating a new masterpiece. “East of West” # 1 is an incredibly strong first issue, which could have spent more time babying us into the world. Then again, this is Hickman, so I guess we’ll just have to hang on and go for the ride.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jumbus_Christ

  • Canucklehead

    This was fantastic. A great job of merging these genres by Hickman. Cant wait to see where this goes.