Hickman continues his excellent science fiction, western series in another riveting and massive issue that doesn’t fail to excite. “East of West” really amps up this month, as it finally becomes clear what is happening. Hickman’s story takes some quick developments within the first couple of pages to show us an impending conflict. He also takes some time to allow us to get to know our protagonist better, and still gives us some incredible action beats.
WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Hickman
ART BY: Nick Dragotta
RELEASE: June 05, 2013
As with all good pieces of fiction, love now comes into play. Our unlikely hero seems to be on a quest for love, reuniting with his wife, and killing anyone who gets in the way. What results is tight storytelling ripe with characterization. Hickman has spent the last two issues showing us a character who couldn’t possibly feel love, only to negate here.
The slow boil storytelling starts to simmer. Conflict is on the horizon, and for the first time it looks like conflict worthy of our protagonist. Who would have ever thought that a story about the four horsemen of the apocalypse would be about love?
It’s a masterful decision that motivates the entire rest of the issue, and perhaps the series. Without giving too much away, this issue was almost entirely about exposition, but done so miraculously well, I could care less.
Dragotta’s art is still spectacular and doesn’t seem to let up. The relationship Hickman and Dragotta have is probably the book’s biggest strength, because the art supports the story so well, that it often leaves my jaw on the floor. One page early in the issue has Dragotta masterfully placing eleven panels of action without fail. Yes, eleven fucking panels. The man is that good. Not to mention this massive page flows so well, and looks so good, it might be the best in the issue if an amazing splash panel didn’t follow it up. The splash panel is packed with kinetic energy that made me feel as if I was standing on the battlefield beside these warriors.
With a little more time building the world, and some time devoted to the other horsemen, this issue knocked it out of the park. The pacing was incredible and managed to push every small story forward in leaps and bounds. Honestly it makes the other two issues slower paces into a distant memory.
This month Hickman and Dragotta managed to kick things into high gear. I was skeptical that the story was ever going to make coherent sense, or pick up the pace. Yet, I’m happy to report that both of these problems have been solved. Although Hickman could easily slip back into the crawl he was in before, I sincerely doubt it. The groundwork has now been laid, and the series is about to take off and rocket us into somewhere new. I loved this issue, and urge you to pick it up.
Reviewed by – Jimbus_Christ