Written by Joe Naz (@Naz_islike)
East of West is one of the hottest comics out right now and for damn good reason. Written by Jonathan Hickman with Nick Dragotta as artist, this is one of my favorite creative teams rite now up there with the teams working on Saga and Batman. This issue picks up with what happened with Ezra (One of the Chosen) last issue at the Armistice with the Horsemen. We don’t get a lot of play with some of the new characters that were introduced this time, but what we do get is a lot of back story on what a few of the major players were up to in the past. East of West is one of those series where when something is revealed, whether it’s past or present, it just ends up raising more questions then what was just answered. What are the end games of people like the Horsemen, The Chosen or Death? We may not know for quite a while…
Hickman isn’t really giving us much to go on but at the same time he’s treating this like foreplay. A slow climatic build up for the big brain shattering bang I’m sure he’ll deliver to us. With each issue he gives us a bit more back story, a bit more character development, but keeps us guessing on what everyone’s motives are. The world that has been introduced in this series seems so rich in lore that it has me drooling just to find out more. The story breaks into three chapters revolving around Ezra, The Horsemen, Death, and his crew. The weakest part of this issue is the short view that we get with Death. It didn’t give us much to go on and leaves us with a bit of an unnecessary cliffhanger that I would assume will be picked up next issue. I would have preferred if we didn’t see this part and it was strictly left for the next issue.
Nick Dragotta is truly killing it as an artist. His pairing with Frank Martin, who does color, is outstanding. Frank really does help bring Nick’s characters to life. When you want to feel the dry heat of a dessert, Frank has you wanting to take your shirt off, find a cool place to continue reading, and down a gallon of water. Nick’s control of his characters are incredible. You can feel the characters pain, anguish, and despair leap from the page and into your heart. His depiction of the Horsemen doing what they do best is gut wrenching as you feel for the people that are caught in their path.
East of West continues month, after month, after month to not disappoint. Every time I check the weekly release and see this incredible title on my pull list, I know it’s going to be a damn good week. If you love Hickmans other work such as Avengers, New Avengers, Infinity and God is Dead, you are going to love East of West! If you haven’t gotten a chance to read the past issues and are just picking this up you may be confused on what is going on. Image just released the East of West Volume 1: The Promise trade which collects #1-5 for a solid $10!