Another deep, beautiful issue of East of West
East of West is written by Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four & Avengers) with art by Nick Dragotta (The Losers & FF). Published by Image Comics, this has been & continues to be one of the best new comics of 2013. It is a science fiction Western set in a dystopian version of the United States with everyone’s fate resting on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Let’s do a quick recap & score this issue!
We begin the issue with the Four Horsemen (Death, War, Famine, & Conquest) at Armistice, where they watch as a member of the chosen named Ezra Orion is suffering great pain from merging with a monster. The Horseman debate separating him from it to relief it but don’t as it would disrupt “The Message.” The comic then transitions to Death searching for his son. His search takes him to the Mirrors where a secret passageway leads to an unknown location. Moving forward from this we get an interesting flashback, showing the building of Armistice, promotion of “The Message,” & adoption of Ezra by Conquest. The flashback ends with Conquest asking if Ezra has become what “The Message” demands, which is repeated in the current day very cryptically. In a powerful moment Conquest decides Ezra’s fate will be suffering with this monster, ending the comic…
East of West, unlike many comics currently published is a modern literary masterpiece, comparable to award winning books. Even with only seven issues published it gives readers an extremely imaginative, metaphorical, & surprisingly realistic setting. Unless you can read on a deep level, many actions in this series will go unnoticed, the perfect example in this issue being the son of Conquest finally being conquered. The flashback sequences give a great amount of fleshing out for fans of the history yet still many things are unanswered. In regards for new readers this issue, most of the comic in general, is NOT reader friendly, sadly discouraging new readers which is a common occurrence in Hickman’s work. Overall, this is an fantastic issue worth any comic book fan's attention.