East of West #1 Review
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Nick Dragotta
Colors by Frank Martin
Reviewed by Steve Seigh
My father once told me that he was no longer feared death. “I’ll greet him, stare into his hollowed eyes, and gladly shake his hand.” This is what my father told his own son just days before his own death. My father was a very strait forward sort of man.
We’ve seen some pretty amazing releases in the comic book world so far in 2013. The Joker came back to Gotham, Cyclops has become Marvel’s very own Che Guevara, the epic and sexually charged Saga has taken the Sci-Fi comic audience by storm, and now we have the release of Jonathan Hickman’s East of West #1. Like I said, it’s been a damn good year for comics.
To say that East of West #1 is atmospheric comic work at its best does not even begin to cover the wide spectrum of praise that I have for this book. It’s one thing to simply read a comic, but it’s entirely another to become fully engrossed in one. East of West #1 demands your full attention at all times. If the massive concepts scripted inside the pages of this book aren’t enough to pull you in than the superb artwork of Nick Dragotta and exquisite color work of Frank Martin certainly will. East of West #1 is a savage and brutal carnival of apocalyptic terror and damnation for your comic book reading soul. If the beginning moments of “The Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse” emerging from the cracked desert soil don’t chill you to your very core, than the state of mankind within the world found in East of West certainly will.
East of West #1 in many ways feels like the beginning to something truly spectacular. After all, it’s not every day that a new comic book series is able to establish its world and characters as quickly and concretely as this first issue seems to do. Hickman has not only created a post-apocalyptic Western dystopia, but he’s managed to bring an overwhelming sense of history and purpose to it as well. The book manages to bring its reader through a gamut of emotions while exploring the book’s wild cast of characters, both main as well as seemingly inconsequential. The Three Horsemen – both in their adolescent as well as their adult forms – are truly terrifying to behold. Even before they’d had the opportunity to interact with the denizens of East of West I felt an overwhelming sense of dread at what they might be capable of. How do you goad Death? What would ever possess you to poke Conquest in his meaty chest, or steal a glance at the ravishing Famine? These are questions you need to as yourself before you die.
There is nowhere that you can hide. There isn’t a single soul on what’s left of the Earth that will keep you safe. The end is upon us and it’s rising a really fucking cool insect-like hover bike. Say your prayers. The Horsemen have been reborn and they’re very restless.
An ABSOLUTE MUST BUY! It’s like I said earlier, East of West #1 is a savage and brutal carnival of apocalyptic terror and damnation for your comic book reading soul. If you don’t jump onto it now you’ll find yourself at a loss when everyone is talking about it for months to come.
This review was written while listening to the album Blues Funeral by the Mark Lanegan Band.
This review was written by Steve Seigh – Executive Editor of Talking Comics. You can hear Steve on the Talking Comics weekly podcast as well as find him on Joblo.com where he writes a featured, bi-weekly column called Ink & Pixel. His Twitter handle is @dead_anchoress.