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Review: ‘East of West’ #4

Boy, I wasn’t expecting that… Hickman spins the narrative of “East of West” once more in an entertaining and action packed issue that takes things in a new direction. This issue concludes with a dynamic change of pace for the series that managed to make the overarching narrative even more intriguing. Which I thought was nearly impossible.

WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Hickman
ART BY: Nick Dragotta
PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: July 10, 2013

Death’s unrelenting assault on New Shanghai continues this month. Hickman allows the conflict at the base of the chairmen take center stage. What results are incredibly paced panels of Death pushing to his love, while his love defies her family at the center of the conflict.

Dragotta’s paneling needs to be commended. Death’s march into New Shanghai is done with such mastery of the page that no space is wasted. No one else in comics panels like Dragotta, and with a story as dense as Hickman’s the effect is nothing short of glorious.

The back-story of the other horsemen is slowly being fleshed out. Hickman teases the reader with hints of the large scope of the world, but doesn’t go too far into anything new here. He waits until the final few pages to truly change the game of the series and does so by quite skillfully defying expectations.

The world of “East of West” is on the verge of ruin. Ruin from the effects of love. This ruin will leave an interesting scar on the world, and something tells me we’ve only seen the beginning. The directions in which the story could develop are virtually limitless. However, they will surely be layered in the choices on these pages.

Issue #4 manages to keep the pace established of earlier issues by offering a fantastic meld of exposition and action. Death’s push into the capital is visceral fun. Offering many moments that completely relish Death’s ability to empty a battlefield with relative ease. It reminds us that this is a story of powerful beings that will likely destroy the world, in ways they were never intended to.

It’s a truly genius premise. Death is supposed to join the other horsemen of the apocalypse but refuses to act with them in the name of love. His love will likely destroy the world in a completely different fashion than his compatriot’s intend.

The stakes have never been higher. Hickman has managed to inject conflict into every single panel. The pacing fails a little toward the end, but the story manages to push forward all the same.

Next month I’m hoping for a little more progression in the fellow horsemen’s story. Often times their bits have been the most expositional and boring, when they should be the most interesting.

“East of West” is still just as compelling as ever, and deserves your attention. The conflict is sure to blow up in only the most satisfying ways. Let’s just hope the conflict finds that happy medium between action and dialogue next month.

3.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jimbus_Christ



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